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NASA drops replica Orion spacecraft to test parachutes

After two days of failed efforts, NASA was able to finally test the chute system Friday morning in Arizona.

Posted: Dec. 15, 2017 12:38 PM
Updated: Dec. 15, 2017 12:44 PM

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - NASA says it successfully tested the Orion spacecraft's parachutes by dropping a replica spacecraft from an Air Force transport aircraft over a desert test site in southwestern Arizona.

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The Friday morning test used two of Orion's three main parachutes to simulate the failure of the third and still sufficiently slow the spacecraft for a landing.

NASA systems engineer Jim McMichael says the test "went really well."

McMichael says 10-ton (10.16-metric ton) replica was "sitting perfectly upright" after bouncing once when it landed at the Yuma Proving Ground, an Army installation.

Previous test attempts were thwarted by a failure of the C-17 plane's cargo doors to open at the drop altitude of 35,000 feet (10,668 meters) on Wednesday and by high winds on Thursday.

Actual Orion landings will involve ocean splashdowns.

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Information from: The Sun, http://www.yumasun.com

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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