Forty-five airmen from the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing will support a joint effort of NASA and the Defense Department to demonstrate techniques and systems that will be used to recover NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
The guardsmen will work with NASA, the U.S. Air Force and DoD’s Human Spaceflight Support Office to develop techniques for air-dropping gear that will work to recover astronauts from Orion and fit the spacecraft with special equipment, DoD said Friday.
The New York airmen will perform airdrops and practice assisting astronauts out of the spacecraft in Hawaii to help NASA and DoD test systems and procedures for future launches.
DoD noted the 106th airmen will only test recovery equipment and will not work with an actual or simulated Orion capsule.
The 45 members include pararescuemen; combat rescue officers; survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists; and other support airmen of the 106th Rescue Wing’s 103rd Rescue Squadron.
Orion is designed to transport American astronauts to deep space locations and scheduled to be launched in September 2018 for a three-week mission to the moon.