(Image: @KathyLueders) Orion spacecraft has been chosen as space capsule for NASA's Artemis space missions Photograph:( Twitter )
These tests may appear to be unimportant to a casual eye but in reality, they are absolutely necessary to ensure safety of the astronauts during 'reentry', the part of the space mission when space capsule with astronauts onboard attempts to land on Earth in oceans
NASA began water drop tests on its Orion spacecraft that has been selected as a space vehicle for its ambitious Artemis space missions. The tests began at Langley Research Center's Landing and Impact Research Facility in Hampton, Virginia
Engineers began carrying out tests that will yield vital data that will give more idea about what astronauts will go through when they return to Earth after a space mission.
The tests began earlier this week.
"The @NASA_Orion spacecraft is making a big splash! Engineers at @NASA_Langley began a series of four water impact drop tests to better understand what Orion & its crew may experience when they land in the Pacific Ocean after #Artemis missions to the Moon," tweeted Kathy Lueder, head of NASA's human spaceflight program
These tests may appear to be unimportant to a casual eye but in reality, they are absolutely necessary to ensure safety of the astronauts during 'reentry', the part of the space mission when space capsule with astronauts onboard attempts to land on Earth in oceans. The slightest miscalculation during the re-entry has the potential for the space capsule to explode, instantly killing the astronauts.
NASA suffered such a situation in which astronaut Kalpana Chawla was killed along with her crewmates in the year 2000.
About Orion spacecraft
Orion spacecraft is built to take humans "farther than they've ever gone before", says NASA. Orion spacecraft has been chosen to be a space capsule in Artemis missions, which will see first woman landing on the Moon and humans setting foot on Mars.