Orion Completes Testing

Orion, NASA’s next deep space exploration vehicle, is designed to carry astronauts into space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and ensure safe re-entry and landing.

On Jan. 6, after six months of testing, an 8,165-kilogram (18,000-pound) Orion mock-up took its final splash into the Hydro Impact Basin of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia.

For more information about the Hydro Impact Basin testing, log in to the NES Virtual Campus and watch the NASA Now program, Forces and Motion: Landing and Impact Research Facility.

Tests simulated different water landing scenarios. The tests took into account different vehicle velocities, parachute deployment systems, entry angles, sea states and wind conditions Orion could face when landing in the Pacific Ocean.

As NASA prepares Orion to take astronauts farther into space, have your students take a look back at the recently ended shuttle program by having them do the NES featured lesson, Linear Regression: Exploring Space Through Math — Space Shuttle Ascent. In this lesson, students track the linear regression of a space shuttle launch and create a scatter plot from real launch data.