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NASA’s Orion that will carry the first woman and next man to the moon completes second drop test

NASA’s Orion capsule that will carry the first woman and next man to the moon completes second drop test that saw the 14,000lb craft fall from seven feet in the air into a hydro impact basin

  • Orion has completed its second drop test and has just two more to go
  • The test was to finalize the craft’s computer models for loads and structures
  • The event saw Orion dropped from seven feet in the air down into a basin
  • The Hydro Impact Basin is filled with hundreds of gallons of water 
  • Orion will house the Artemis team, which will touchdown on the moon in 2024 
  • The tests are to simulate landing scenarios for when they return to Earth

NASA is one step closer to sending the first woman and next man to the moon following a second successful Orion spacecraft drop test.

The American space agency conducted the test at its Langley Research Center’s Landing and Impact Research Facility in Virginia that saw the capsule dropped from seven feet in the air into a massive pool of water.

The 14,000-pound craft is fitted with 500 sensors to capture data from the moment it was released to when it splashed down into the Hydro Impact Basin.

The capsule is set to take the Artemis III crew to the moon and back, and Tuesday’s test is to simulate landing scenarios for when the space faring heroes splash down on Earth during the return trip. 

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NASA conducted the test at its Langley Research Center's Landing and Impact Research Facility in Virginia that saw the capsule dropped from seven feet in the air into a massive pool of water

NASA conducted the test at its Langley Research Center’s Landing and Impact Research Facility in Virginia that saw the capsule dropped from seven feet in the air into a massive pool of water

The Hydro Impact Basin, which NASA built in 2010 for 1.7 million, holds hundreds of gallons of ‘tap water’ mixed with chlorine.  

NASA said the water-impact tests are part of engineers’ efforts to ‘simulate a few landing scenarios as close to real-world conditions as possible.’

And this one was to finalize computer models for loads and structures prior to the Artemis II flight test in 2023.

‘Artemis II will carry astronauts around the Moon and back, paving the way to land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface and establish a sustainable presence at the Moon under the Artemis program, NASA shared in a statement.

The 14,000-pound craft is fitted with 500 sensors to capture data from the moment it was released to when it splashed down into the Hydro Impact Basin

The 14,000-pound craft is fitted with 500 sensors to capture data from the moment it was released to when it splashed down into the Hydro Impact Basin

The 14,000-pound craft is fitted with 500 sensors to capture data from the moment it was released to when it splashed down into the Hydro Impact Basin

The capsule is set to take the Artemis III crew to the moon and back, and Tuesday's test is to simulate landing scenarios for when the space faring heroes splash down on Earth during the return trip

The capsule is set to take the Artemis III crew to the moon and back, and Tuesday's test is to simulate landing scenarios for when the space faring heroes splash down on Earth during the return trip

The capsule is set to take the Artemis III crew to the moon and back, and Tuesday’s test is to simulate landing scenarios for when the space faring heroes splash down on Earth during the return trip

NASA said the water-impact tests are part of engineers¿ efforts to 'simulate a few landing scenarios as close to real-world conditions as possible.'

NASA said the water-impact tests are part of engineers¿ efforts to 'simulate a few landing scenarios as close to real-world conditions as possible.'

NASA said the water-impact tests are part of engineers’ efforts to ‘simulate a few landing scenarios as close to real-world conditions as possible.’

‘The current test series builds on previous tests and uses a configuration of the crew module based on the spacecraft’s final design.’

However, the moment the world is waiting for, Artemis III, is slated for 2024 when the team plans to touchdown on the moon.

This test was to finalize computer models for loads and structures prior to the Artemis II flight test in 2023

This test was to finalize computer models for loads and structures prior to the Artemis II flight test in 2023

This test was to finalize computer models for loads and structures prior to the Artemis II flight test in 2023

Splash tests were initially conducted on Orion several years ago, but structural improvements have since been made on the ship’s crew module, based on an earlier flight test and data from wind tunnel tests.

Orion is designed to carry up to six crew members and can operate for up to 21 days undocked and up to six months docked.

The first drop test, which was also a success, was conducted March 24 that saw Orion drop from just 18 inches into the giant basin.

Orion will sit atop the NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) when it ventures out into space.

‘With its unprecedented power and capabilities, SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and cargo to the Moon on a single mission,’ NASA said.

Orion will sit atop the NASA¿s Space Launch System (SLS) when it ventures out into space. SLS completed a full eight-minute hot fire test on March 18 (pictured) which is the final step needed to move ahead with the Artemis I November launch

Orion will sit atop the NASA¿s Space Launch System (SLS) when it ventures out into space. SLS completed a full eight-minute hot fire test on March 18 (pictured) which is the final step needed to move ahead with the Artemis I November launch

Orion will sit atop the NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) when it ventures out into space. SLS completed a full eight-minute hot fire test on March 18 (pictured) which is the final step needed to move ahead with the Artemis I November launch

The rocket cost $18.6 billion to develop and is expected to cost about $2 billion for every launch – with a maximum payload to the moon of 101,400lb.

SLS completed a full eight-minute hot fire test on March 18 which is the final step needed to move ahead with the Artemis I November launch.

The ‘green run hot fire’ test saw the rocket’s core stage burn four RS-25 engines that generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust and drained the tanks of thousands of gallons of liquid hydrogen.

During the eight minutes, the engines consumed more than 700,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel.

NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis mission

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. 

NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 –  including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. 

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission. 

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before. 

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. 

The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.

The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons. 

Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.

Eventually NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.

The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy. 


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