NASA tests Orion capsule splashdown capability

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LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER, Va. — NASA tested the Orion crew module Tuesday by dropping it into its Hydro Impact Basin.

The space agency dropped a 14,000-pound test version of the Orion spacecraft about 7 feet into the water. The test will help determine if the capsule is ready for splashdown on return missions from space.

NASA began drop-testing Orion March 23 to finalize computer models for loads and structures prior to the Artemis II flight.

NASA’s Artemis II mission will be the first mission with crew aboard. Artemis II will carry the crew around the moon and back in the Orion spacecraft.

Eventually, the space agency plans to land a crew on the moon’s surface.

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