Video: Orion Floats, Now It Has to Fly

Video Caption: Swing drop testing began last summer at Langley’s Hydro Impact Basin to certify the Orion spacecraft for water landings. Now 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.