Video Gives Inside Look at Trial by Fire for NASA’s Orion Spacecraft


The video begins 10 minutes before Orion’s 11:29 a.m. EST splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, just as the spacecraft was beginning to experience Earth’s atmosphere. Peak heating from the friction caused by the atmosphere rubbing against Orion’s heat shield comes less than two minutes later, and the footage shows the plasma created by the interaction change from white to yellow to lavender to magenta as the temperature increases. The video goes on to show the deployment of Orion’s parachutes and the final splash as it touches down.

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  1. The blue line parachute did not look like it fully deployed compared to the red and yellow chutes. I noticed this at the time and wonder if it was supposed to do that or if there was a minor malfunction, would be great to hear from someone who knows.

  2. I am impressed with Orion for the most part. But the landing using 1960's technology? Why NASA? SpaceX has super Draco engines that will land the craft anywhere and those same engines replace Orion's safe launch system which is thrown away each time Orion launch wasting money and resources and adding precious weight on top of Orion. Other than that I do like pretty much everything else Orion can do. Not too bad guys. Maybe you can make a second version using spaceX super Draco and make Orion a real spaceship!

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