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NASA’S Orion Spacecraft Makes Stops During Florida-Texas Trek

August 7, 2009

 A full scale mockup of NASA’s Orion crew exploration vehicle soon will be moved from Florida to Texas to continue its
testing. During the trip, the capsule will make several stops for public viewing.

The mockup is used in tests to study the environment for astronauts and recovery crews after an Orion ocean splashdown. The public
viewing opportunities are:

– Challenger, Center, Tallahassee, Fla., Mon., Aug. 10, noon to 3
p.m. EDT
– Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Fla., Tues., Aug. 11, 9 a.m. to 3
p.m. CDT
– StenniSphere, NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss., Wed., Aug. 12, 10
a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CDT.
– Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, Miss., Aug. 13, 8 a.m. to 1
p.m. CDT
– NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, Aug. 14, 3 p.m. CDT
through Aug. 17, approximately 9 a.m. CDT

The first round of Post-landing Orion Recovery Tests (PORT) occurred in March in a controlled water environment at the Naval Surface
Warfare Center in Bethesda, Md. Additional testing near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in April took place in the rougher, uncontrolled
waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The next testing phase, designated as PORT II, will be conducted at Johnson.

“The first portion of PORT testing was a great success, giving NASA an early look into the motions crews inside and outside Orion will feel
after landing,” said Alan Rhodes, PORT testing lead at Johnson. “This will allow us to modify the design to aid in the recovery of the
vehicle and crew.”

At Johnson, the PORT test article will be outfitted with seats, restraints and other items that may affect how crews get in and out
of Orion. Engineers will evaluate the crew’s ability to get out of Orion in calm water at the Sonny Carter Training Facility’s Neutral
Buoyancy Lab. NASA will also work with U.S. Air Force rescue and recovery experts to determine how parajumpers will assist crews in
case of an emergency.

NASA’s Constellation Program is developing America’s next-generation human spaceflight system to carry astronauts to the International
Space Station, the moon and destinations beyond. For more information about NASA’s Orion crew exploration vehicle, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/orion

For more information about NASA’s Constellation Program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/constellation   




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