NASA'S CONSTELLATION PROGRAM TESTS ORION RECOVERY PROCEDURES
WASHINGTON -- A full-scale mockup of NASA's Orion crew module is being
tested in water under simulated and real landing weather conditions.
Beginning March 23, a Navy-built, 18,000-pound Orion mockup will be
placed in a test pool at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock
Division in West Bethesda, Md. Ocean testing will begin April 6 off
the coast of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The goal of the operation, dubbed the Post-landing Orion Recovery
Test, or PORT, is to determine what kind of motions the astronaut
crew can expect after landing, as well as conditions outside for the
recovery team. The experience will help NASA design landing recovery
operations including equipment, ship and crew necessities.
The Carderock facility provides a controlled environment for crew
recovery personnel to familiarize themselves with the Orion capsule
before the team tests procedures in the uncontrolled waters of the
For the ocean testing, the team will use a space shuttle solid rocket
booster recovery ship to take the mockup out to sea, going further
into rougher conditions each day.