NASA will air the final test of the parachute system for its Orion spacecraft, which will carry astronauts to the Moon and beyond. Live coverage of the test from the U.S. Army’s Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona will begin at 10:15 a.m. EDT on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the Orion Facebook page.
Viewers can ask questions of NASA experts, including Orion Program Manager, Mark Kirasich, astronaut Randy Bresnik and Orion parachute engineers, on social media during the event using #AskNASA.
An Orion test capsule will be dropped from a C-17 aircraft at an altitude of more than six miles to verify the spacecraft’s complex system of 11 parachutes, cannon-like mortars, and pyrotechnic devices work in sequence to slow the capsule’s descent for a safe landing on Earth.
To date, such tests have evaluated Orion’s parachute performance during normal landing sequences, several failure scenarios, and a variety of potential aerodynamic conditions, to ensure the safe return of astronauts from deep space missions.