NASA Rocket Ejection Systems Test Successful

NASA carried out a full-stress launch abort take a look at Tuesday for the Orion capsules designed to hold astronauts to the moon.

The capsule was empty for the demo, which officers stated appeared to achieve success.

Almost a minute after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the abort motor fired, pulling the capsule from the booster about 6 miles (10 kilometers) up. The capsule continued upward one other 2 miles, then flipped to jettison the abort tower.

NASA had chosen not to use parachutes to keep this test model of the capsule simple and thus not waste time, and so it crashed into the Atlantic at 300 mph as planned, the three-minute test complete. Twelve data recorders popped off in shiny orange canisters before impact, for ocean retrieval.

“By all accounts, it was magnificent,” mentioned program supervisor Mark Kirasich. It would take a couple of months to go through all the information collected by the hundreds of vehicle sensors, he mentioned.

NASA aims to put astronauts again on the moon by 2024 using its still-in-development Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket. Tuesday’s check represents “a really great, great step forward right this moment for the team,” Kirasich stated.

This was the second abort check for Orion, performed at a speed of more than 800 mph (1,300 kph). The first, in New Mexico in 2010, was lower and slower.

A launch abort system on a Russian rocket had saved the lives of two astronauts final October. They launched once more in December, this time making it to the International Space Station, where they’re still working.