Michael Braukus/J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington                                   

Amy Johnson
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
757-864-7022/272-9859 (mobile)

Josh Byerly
Johnson Space Center, Houston


Jan. 04, 2012
Media Invited To Final Orion Spacecraft Water Landing Test
HAMPTON, Va. -- The final water landing test of the Orion crew capsule has been re-scheduled for Friday, Jan. 6, at NASA's Langley Research Center's Hydro Impact Basin in Hampton, Va. The test was originally scheduled to take place Thursday, Jan. 5, but a combination of wind and cold weather conditions prohibited pre-test operations atop the gantry.

The test will simulate deployment of all parachutes at a high impact pitch of 43 degrees. The capsule will travel approximately 47 mph before splashing into the basin, where it will likely flip over after impact. While this type of landing scenario is not likely to occur during actual vehicle operation, the test will validate models of how the spacecraft would respond. Like the Apollo spacecraft, Orion will have an on-board system that allows the spacecraft to up-right itself in the ocean.

The Hydro Impact Basin is 115 feet long, 90 feet wide and 20 feet deep. It is located at the west end of Langley's historic Landing and Impact Research Facility, or Gantry, where Apollo astronauts trained for moonwalks.

Media representatives must arrive by 1 p.m. EST at the NASA Langley main gate. Due to the nature of the testing, an exact drop time cannot be given. If the drop test date changes due to weather or technical reasons, NASA will issue a media advisory.

To ensure access and badging, reporters must contact Amy Johnson by phone at 757-272-9859 or by email at amy.johnson@nasa.gov by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5.

For video and still imagery that documents ground breaking of the Hydro Impact Basin through various stages of Orion testing, visit:


For more information about Orion, visit:



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