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#1 Hum

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 12:25

 NASA's next manned spaceship, the Orion capsule, will be dropped over Arizona Wednesday (July 24) for a parachute test that will be broadcast live in a Google+ Hangout. SPACE.com's Clara Moskowitz will be one of a few reporters participating as Hangout guests to ask questions during the event.

Orion is a gumdrop-shaped vehicle designed to take astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit to the moon, Mars and nearby asteroids. The spacecraft is expected to make its first test flight to space in 2014, with its initialcrewed flight coming in 2021.

The Google+ Hangout will feature NASA and Army team members speaking about the test, as well as live footage from the flight.

 

You can watch live from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. EDT (1430 to 1530 GMT) here at SPACE.com, or on NASA's Google+ page of NASA TV.

 Wednesday's test will see an Orion prototype dropped from a plane at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,700 meters) over the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in southwestern Arizona. Engineers will simulate a series of failures and test the parachute system's ability to adapt and land the capsule safely. Orion has three main parachutes, and the NASA team plans to simulate the failure of one of the trio to see if the landing sequence can proceed safely with only two.

These parachutes will be necessary to slow the spacecraft's descent after its first trip to space, the 2014 test flight scheduled to send the capsule 3,600 miles (5,800 km) away from Earth —well beyond the orbit of the International Space Station.

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#2 vetneufuse

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 12:45

it's amazing how long it takes to develop these devices now days and test them, but in the 60's we did it so quickly with so much less to assist us



#3 DocM

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 13:55

Orion and Dragon started development at the same time - 2004. Dragon first flew unmanned to orbit and back in 2010, and Orion won't until 2014-2015. Dragon will fly a crew in 2015 and Orion won't fly a crew until 2021 - 17 years after dev started.

A big problem for Orion is that because of its 8,900 kg dry mass it depends on the still in development and very expensive SLS launcher for crewed flights, and their combined cost will be $22+ billion by 2022, and that is only for 4 flights - one on a Delta IV (the first flight.) It doesn't even have a mission plan for post-2022 flights, but the cost by 2030 will be almost $38 billion. Missions will cost more.

So will its service module. ESA is building the first two using some spare ATV parts, but later missions will need an improved one that isn't budgeted. ESA may build it, or it may not. Either way it'll drive up the budget.

A lot of people also put SLS's long term survival at 50-50 at best because of the costs and its main supporters in Congress nearing retirement age. If it ends up cancelled Orion will need a new ride, either a new Atlas V Heavy, Falcon Heavy or the anticipated SpaceX super-heavy (notionally Falcon XX.)

Even then Orion may be too expensive to operate compared to a BEO SpaceX Dragon or their still to be detailed MCT, or a BEO variant of Boeing's CST-100. .

#4 xendrome

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 14:03

Hmm can't find the link at Space.com, you'd think it would be their feature story.



#5 AJerman

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 14:33

Hmm can't find the link at Space.com, you'd think it would be their feature story.

http://www.space.com...e-space-tv.html



#6 Crisp

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 15:06

Thanks for the heads up. I managed to miss it. :(

 

LiveStream was terrible quality.