NASA has completed the eighth and final test for the Orion spacecraft’s parachute system at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
Orion parachute engineers deployed and assessed the system during normal and failed landing scenarios and various aerodynamic conditions to check if the technology can protect astronauts when they return to Earth from deep space missions, NASA said Thursday.
The evaluation team lifted a mock Orion spacecraft from the ground using a C-17 aircraft and checked the parachute system’s ability to assemble in mid-air.
The test demonstrated how NASA can further modify the system to operate in different scenarios, and informed partner companies about the parachute mechanism.
NASA will launch the crewed Orion spacecraft atop a Space Launch System space vehicle in 2023 as part of Exploration Mission-2, which involves conducting missions on the moon and in deep space.