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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.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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