NASA suspends recovery testing of next generation spacecraft

Washington, Feb 22: The US space agency — NASA — said Friday it has suspended the recovery testing of a test version of its next generation spacecraft — Orion — off the coast of California.

Orion is America’s new spacecraft that will take astronauts to an asteroid and Mars in the future. Its first uncrewed test flight is planned for September this year.

The recovery team experienced issues with handling lines securing the Orion capsule inside the well deck of the USS San Diego during Thursday’s exercise, Xinhua quoted NASA saying in a statement .

“The lines were unable to support the tension caused by crew module motion that was driven by wave turbulence in the well deck of the ship,” the space agency said. “The team called off the week’s remaining testing to allow engineers to evaluate next steps.”

The recovery operations conducted by NASA and the US Navy began Tuesday and were originally set to end Friday.

NASA said several of the test objectives were accomplished before the remaining tests were called off, including successful recoveries of the forward bay cover, parachute and demonstrations of the coordination required between the team onboard the ship and mission control in Houston.

IANS