To start the coming missions, NASA’s next-gen spacecraft, Orion, undergoes and will undergo further testing.
The results showed that the impact of the spacecraft seemed more like a plop rather than a huge splash. NASA’s test for the impact of its next-gen Orion spacecraft will definitely provide plenty of useful information and data for engineers to ponder upon, making it useful to fine-tune the vehicle for it to be used in the upcoming missions to the moon.
The latest water impact test took place at Langley Research Center of NASA in Hampton, Virginia, on Tuesday, April 6. It involved dropping a huge weight of 14,000 pounds as a test version of the Orion being specially built into a Hydro Impact Basin which had a million gallons full of water filled in it.
According to digitaltrends, a couple of weeks ago, NASA started its impact tests for the Orion, being the most recent round. Although, the space agency made Tuesday’s its first to be streamed on live.
The plunges during these impact tests will aid the engineers in gaining more knowledge to understand the capsule more and more and how it will respond as it lands into the Pacific Ocean by the end of the mission to space. Not only that, but data will be revealed concerning how the astronauts will be treated while being within the spacecraft as it hits the ocean surface.
In addition to this, the process is one of the key parts of Orion in fulfilling the structural design along with the requirement verification in its formal qualification program before launching the first lunar mission.
For its capacities as it’s just been completed, the number of astronauts that could be occupied is only limited down to six persons. It could stay in operation for as long as 21 days in space, undocked. It could also stay up for the duration of six months, docked.
Hot Fire Test
Part of the further preparations, the core stage of the next-gen Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will have included a full-scale hot fire test that will aid in launching the Orion capsule up into space.
Test Mission to the Moon
One of NASA’s biggest projects includes launching the very first Artemis lunar mission in the later months of this year. The performance of Artemis I will have an uncrewed running test to the moon to see how the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket as the integrated system will be faring off. In the following test of Artemis II, it will be taking the exact same route while having a crew inside traveling aboard.
Being one of the highly anticipated missions of NASA, Artemis III will be having the first woman along with a man next-up to land on the lunar surface of the moon. This will soon be the first landing of astronauts on the moon since nearly half a decade ago, being 1972. In the coming year 2024, NASA will have then launched the very ambitious mission. Although, as of now, it seems like a delay will have to be taking place.