NASA launches Orion capsule successfully

Dec

6

2014

NASA has successfully for the first time an Orion capsule, the successor to the Space Shuttle, shot in the air. The capsule should eventually be used for long-distance trips, for example to Mars.

Nasa logo The launch was postponed for Thursday because a boat came too close to the launch pad and the weather conditions then were too unfavorable. Weather conditions that appeared Friday to have initially not much better – especially the wind was a problem – but a little after one o’clock in the afternoon, the space shuttle successor yet successfully launched.

It is a test flight, the capsule rises to a height of 5800 kilometers, after which he will make two laps around the earth. The total test flight will take only four and a half hour; then the object lands in the sea. The test mission NASA will include the amount of radiation, temperature and pressure measurements in the cabin, to find out if the capsule is suitable for manned travel.

The Orion is considered the successor to the space shuttle. Unlike the shuttle, which is now no longer in use, using the new capsule parachutes for landing, while the Space Shuttle as a plane was landing. The capsule is conical because the vessel this would aerodynamic and firmer and more resistant to the pressure and could heat at the retreat through the atmosphere. The design thus resembles the old Apollo capsule. Orion consists of three parts: a service module at the bottom, above the Crew Module with space for astronauts and top of the Launch Abort System including parachutes.

The Orion is designed to make long manned space flights. For such operations can take place up to four astronauts in the capsule, but for shorter flights, as to the ISS, there are up to six. According to NASA’s Orion should even be used for manned trips to Mars and asteroids. The next test of Orion takes place in 2018.

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