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NASA, Navy to Conduct Orion Spacecraft Recovery Test

The U.S. Navy deployed a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Wednesday to support a NASA spacecraft recovery test off the coast of Southern California.

USS Anchorage (LPD 23) departed from San Diego Naval Base for the Underway Recovery Test 6 that will train personnel to recover the Orion crew module after the spacecraft completes Exploration Mission-1 slated to occur in late 2019, the service branch said Wednesday.

URT will also evaluate open ocean recovery processes, procedures, hardware and personnel tasked to retrieve Orion upon return to Earth.

USS Anchorage’s bridge team will monitor the ship as it conducts restricted conditions during URT 6, while boats of Navy divers and NASA recovery teams will rig tending lines and guide a Boiler Plate Test Article.

BTA is designed to have the same size, shape and center of gravity as the Lockheed Martin-built spacecraft.

NASA plans to hold three more URTs prior to the EM-1 launch with daytime and nighttime recovery operations meant to prepare agency and Navy personnel to handle and store the capsule.

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