Posted on Dec 9, 2014
Navy Times
From: Navy Times

NASA and the Navy rekindled an old flame in the last few days.

The amphibious transport dock Anchorage successfully recovered the space craft Orion Dec. 5 after four hours in space. Orion was unmanned on this flight and the test was a jumping-off point to rebuild skills and technologies that have eroded since America ceased manned space flight. If all goes according to plan, Orion will ferry the first humans to Mars, though the timeline remains uncertain.

Orion was recovered by the San Diego-based Anchorage with the use of Navy divers. It was the first such launch since the Apollo 17 mission 42 years ago.

"Today the USS Anchorage/NASA team safely retrieved the Orion space capsule after its successful launch and splash down in the Pacific Ocean," Anchorage commanding officer Capt. Michael McKenna said in a Nov. 5 statement. "Anchorage and NASA worked very closely during the second and third Underway Recovery Tests earlier this year in preparation for our mission today.

"This mission exemplifies the U.S. Navy commitment to the research and development of technologies and techniques to ensure the safety of human space flight support. I could not be more proud of my crew."

Orion is the first big step in NASA's mission to Mars. As it stands, NASA is planning a manned mission first to an asteroid then to MARS, within the next two decades.

The test Friday took Orion 3,600 miles into space at speeds of up to 20,000 miles per hour, enduring temperatures of up 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit upon reentry.

Orion, which was launched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket, was loaded with sensors that scientists will use to study, among other things, the amount of radiation that astronauts will be exposed to on their months-long trip to Mars.

The Orion capsule was recovered in the Pacific Ocean roughly 600 west of Mexico. After splash down, small boats transported over Navy divers, who lassoed the capsule with a bridle and towed it to the Anchorage's flooded well deck.
Posted in these groups: NASAThe-milky-way-galaxy SpaceNavy Navy
Responses: 1
PO1 Disaster Survivor Assistance Specialist
Yep! Nothing like helping us get to the stars! GO NAVY!! BEAT ARMY!!

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