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NASA Invites Media, Public to Hangout at Live Orion Parachute Test

WASHINGTON — NASA will host a Google+ Hangout from the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. EDT July 24, as an Orion test capsule is dropped from a plane at 35,000 feet to evaluate its parachutes.

During the event, participants will see one of Orion’s most difficult parachute tests to date and hear from NASA and Army team members involved. Engineers will simulate a failure of one of the spacecraft’s three main parachutes, releasing it before Orion has landed.

Exploration Flight Test-1, an uncrewed test of the spacecraft that will send Orion 3,600 miles away from Earth, is scheduled for September 2014. Orion’s parachutes are being tested to ensure they can slow the capsule for a safe landing in the Pacific Ocean as the spacecraft reenters Earth’s atmosphere from deep space missions at speeds of up to 20,000 mph.

Media may cover the event in person at the Yuma Proving Ground, but will not be able to participate in the Google+ Hangout if they do. Journalists interested in attending in person should contact Brandi Dean at by 5 p.m. July 19.

Google+ Hangouts allow as many as 10 people or groups to chat face-to-face, while thousands more can watch the conversation live on Google+ or YouTube. The Hangout also will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA social media followers may submit questions on Google+ or Twitter in advance and during the event using the hashtag #askOrion. Before the Hangout begins, NASA will open a thread on its Facebook page where questions may be posted.

To join the Hangout, visit:

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:

For more information about the Orion program, visit:


Rachel Kraft
Headquarters, Washington
Brandi Dean
Johnson Space Center, Houston