NASA Completes Orion Parachute Testing »

NASA’s new crew capsule is one step closer to flying, as Chris Bergin reports:

The Orion Program has concluded its drop test series for the spacecraft’s parachute system, with a successful return to terra firma on Wednesday. The three chutes will allow Orion to conclude its mission with a gentle splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Ensuring the system was safe, including during the loss of a chute, has been the main goal of the test series that has been ongoing for around a decade.

Orion will fly atop NASA’s new SLS rocket, which is currently being developed. The first flight of the new stack, dubbed EM-1, will be without a crew, but the second flight will have astronauts aboard, marking the start of a new era of NASA spaceflight in the post-shuttle world.