Sasha Congiu
Media Invited to Orion Spacecraft Vertical Drop Test at Langley
HAMPTON, Va. -- Reporters are invited to attend a water impact test of an 18,000-pound (8,165 kilograms) test version of the Orion spacecraft at NASA's Langley Research Center's Hydro Impact Basin on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Journalists must arrive by 11:30 a.m. EDT at the NASA Langley main gate. The test will occur in the afternoon, but due to the nature of the testing; an exact drop time cannot be given. Journalists also will have the opportunity to interview subject matter experts. If the drop test date changes due to weather or technical reasons, NASA will issue an advisory to journalists of the change.

Swing drop testing began last summer at Langley's Hydro Impact Basin to certify the Orion spacecraft for water landings. This week, the team is conducting tests where Orion is being dropped vertically into the pool for the first time, which will help fine-tune the way NASA predicts Orion's landing loads.

The first space-bound Orion capsule will launch on Exploration Flight Test-1 or EFT-1, an uncrewed launch planned for 2014. This test will see Orion travel farther into space than any human spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years. Orion will carry astronauts into space, providing emergency abort capability, sustaining the crew during space travel, and ensuring safe re-entry and landing.

The Hydro Impact Basin is 115 feet long, 90 feet wide and 20 feet deep (35 x 27 x 6 meters). It is located at the west end of Langley's historic Landing and Impact Research Facility, or Gantry, where Apollo astronauts trained for moon walks. To ensure access and badging, reporters must contact Sasha Congiu by phone at 757-272-9859 or by email at by 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

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

For more information on Orion, visit:

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

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