A test model of the Orion spacecraft with its parachutes was tested the skies high above the U.S. Army’s Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. on Feb. 29, 2012. This particular drop test examined the wake — or the disturbance of the air flow behind Orion — that is caused by the spacecraft.
The U.S. Space Launch System, or SLS, will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond Earth orbit and the Orion capsule is a major part of this program. The Orion spacecraft will replace the space shuttle as NASA’s vehicle for human space exploration and is designed to accommodate four to six astronauts traveling into space. It also will supplement commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station. Designed to be flexible for crew or cargo missions, SLS will continue America’s journey of discovery from the unique vantage point of space.
Image Credit: NASA