URT-3 At Sea Recovery Operation with Bolden
During Orion Underway Recovery Test 4A aboard the USNS Salvor, a safeguard-class rescue and salvage ship, a crane is used to lift the Orion boilerplate test vehicle. Orion will be lifted up and lowered into the water to test crew module crane recovery operations. NASA, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy are conducting the test in the Pacific Ocean to prepare for recovery of the Orion crew module on its return from a deep space mission. The test allows the teams to demonstrate and evaluate the recovery processes, procedures, hardware and personnel in open waters. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is conducting the underway recovery tests. Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted test flight of Orion is scheduled to launch in 2014 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket and in 2018 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.