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NASA's Orion Spaceship Passes Parachute Test

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the first-step dept.

NASA 75

An anonymous reader writes The spacecraft it is hoped will take man to Mars has passed its first parachute tests. Nasa's Orion spacecraft landed gently using its parachutes after being shoved out of a military jet at 35,000 feet. "We've put the parachutes through their paces in ground and airdrop testing in just about every conceivable way before we begin sending them into space on Exploration Flight Test (EFT)-1 before the year's done," Orion program manager Mark Geyer said in a NASA statement. "The series of tests has proven the system and will help ensure crew and mission safety for our astronauts in the future."

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That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330041)

Now you just need a rocket program to send it to Mars.

It's like the 15-year-old who bragging about the wicked seat covers he bought for the camaro he hasn't saved a dime for.

Re:That's great (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 6 months ago | (#47330219)

Well, that depends on how the mission plays out. You may be able to mate it with a Falcon 9 to get it off the ground and pair up with another system already launched into orbit aboard a Falcon Heavy.

Remember that Apollo used one big rocket because that was the quickest way to get to the Moon. It wasn't necessarily the best idea...

Re:That's great (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 6 months ago | (#47330319)

Space X already has a capsule.. No need for Orion.

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47331171)

There is no one-size fits all capsule and although the Dragon could be modified to work for deep space missions as this has been taken into account from the start, it isn't currently built for that.

Re:That's great (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 6 months ago | (#47331459)

There is no one-size fits all capsule and although the Dragon could be modified to work for deep space missions as this has been taken into account from the start, it isn't currently built for that.

Agreed. The Dragon seems to be just a 7-passenger taxi service to the ISS. However, you could probably dock it to another space station too, one with living quarters, a Mars-lander and a bunch of big engines and fuel tanks, and then you have your Mars mission complete.

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47333061)

Space X already has a capsule.. No need for Orion.

Except that it's not human rated.

Re:That's great (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 months ago | (#47334609)

Except that it's not human rated.

Nor is Onion.

Heck, nor was the Space Shuttle, unless you consider killing the crew one time in sixty to be 'human rated'.

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330419)

Remember that Apollo used one big rocket because that was the quickest way to get to the Moon. It wasn't necessarily the best idea...

Maybe the best idea would be to revive the original Project Orion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

Re:That's great (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#47330745)

Absolutely not. If you're going to go with a nuclear rocket, make it a gas core nuclear rocket, like the Liberty. Gas core nuclear rockets (or nuclear light bulbs) do not spew radioactive waste in their wake. They are clean and physically doable, unlike the Orion.

Re:That's great (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 6 months ago | (#47330907)

Gas core nuclear rockets also don't exist, even as prototypes, and have serious theoretical problems. While Orion spacecrafts are actually pretty straightforward.

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47331231)

Ok, then go Orion... but limit all launches to Florida, please.

Re:That's great (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#47333765)

In my more conspiracy-minded moments I sometimes wonder if the name choice wasn't deliberate, to make the public forget about the original Project Orion. There was no need to name this abortion 'Orion' when that name had already been used for an entirely different concept in manned space flight. This one should have been called Apollo Command Module Version 2, because that's pretty much all it is.

NASA is a death cult, look it up (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 6 months ago | (#47335071)

In my more conspiracy-minded moments

good grief, do you even intarweb, bro [enterprisemission.com] ?

You probably think those shuttle disasters we "accidents", too.

/can't tell where parody ends anymore...

Re:NASA is a death cult, look it up (1)

Optali (809880) | about 6 months ago | (#47341327)

Nice, I visited the page and found a banner "Asian Women Seeking Love".

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330435)

That will never happen. Falcon 9 and Falcon heavy weren't manufactured separately in 47 of the 50 states where our congressmen have constituents who needs job security so the congressmen themselves can have re-election security.... because dammit that's how we fund our space program!

If we just keep canceling the spaceflight program that the previous administration (or hell, even something the current administration did in its first term) OK'd, then replacing it with the "new vision for space exploration"... then maybe, just maybe, we can keep people employed indefinitely! Having them actually produce a working product isn't the goal, because then at some point they'd be "done", and thus out of a job. This way we can spend billions and billions, and never actually reach a finished working program! It's genius!

I for one will be sitting glued to the monitor the day that the Chinese land men on the moon.

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330453)

...and then what? The Chinese will collapse in on themselves just as the USSR and the USA did. There's nothing out there.

It's empty.

We know. We've been. We've taken pictures.

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330469)

There's everything out there.

We're the man sitting on the tiny desert island saying "I waded 3 feet into the surf, and all I found was water".

The earth has all sorts of time limits. Our time here as a species is limited. Either a superdisease, an asteroid impact, a solar flare, a nearby supernova, the expansion of our star, or most likely our own technology will eventually end human life on this planet. If the species is to survive, we have to get off of this rock and spread. The longer we wait to start, the more we're betting against ourselves.

Re:That's great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330597)

It's the same stuff as right here, and the stuff that's here is already here.

Evolution is still happening. That's our time limit. This romantic hand-wringing about hypothetical far-off death scenarios smacks of religion.

We have plenty to do right here, and if you're so concerned about The Species, there are 7 billion people right here right now that could use some real help, while you rock autistically in your corner clutching your outdated sci-fi mumbling about fantasies.

Your choice.

Help!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330087)

Can someone more enlightened than I provide a brief synopsis of the current state of NASA's manned flight program and hardware?

I thought Orion was cancelled. ??

 

Re:Help!! (3, Informative)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 6 months ago | (#47330193)

As I understand it, Orion is sort of the equivalent of the Apollo CM. It was not cancelled.

However, what I believe the administration wants to cancel is part of the SLS (Shuttle Launch System) which would lift the Orion capsule into orbit--sort of the equivalent of the Saturn 1B that was used to launch Apollo capsules into earth orbit for Skylab and Apollo/Soyuz missions.

I believe the heavy-lift version of SLS--sort of analogous to the Saturn 5--is still funded for the asteroid missions.

Re:Help!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47331119)

The Constellation program [wikipedia.org] was cancelled but Orion lives on. Instead of launching on the planned Ares rocket, NASA is designing the Space Launch System (SLS), which will be slightly more powerful than the Saturn V moon rocket

As far as what we'll do with it ... that's still in the air. Ideally, we'll sent a manned mission to Mars by 2040, but the funding for the program isn't anywhere near what's needed, and there's still a lot of unknowns about how well humans can cope with prolonged time spent in space beyond the protection of Earth's magnetic field.

Ahh man (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about 6 months ago | (#47330101)

Now I'm going to have to go build a military jet in Kerbal Space Program and push a capsule with parachutes out of it.

Re:Ahh man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330201)

Now I'm going to have to go build a military jet in Kerbal Space Program and push a capsule with parachutes out of it.

Why?

Re:Ahh man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330407)

Now I'm going to have to go build a military jet in Kerbal Space Program and push a capsule with parachutes out of it.

Why?

Download the demo and you'll understand. My wife hates the game now, because it sucked me in. I deliberately avoided buying the game so far because the demo is limited and it already devoured my free time.

With the demo, I made a rocket that orbited the Mun and returned to Kerbin for a safe landing.

I had to put the damn game down and walk away...

Re:Ahh man (4, Funny)

Megaport (42937) | about 6 months ago | (#47330841)

With the demo, I made a rocket that orbited the Mun and returned to Kerbin for a safe landing.

I had to put the damn game down and walk away...

Yep. Same story here, except I managed an entire manned (Kerbaled?) Duna sample return mission before walking away.

My marriage only just survived.

--M

Re:Ahh man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330423)

I can't watch the "when we left earth" miniseries without pausing it every now and then to go play kerbal.

All IS Lost (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330111)

Perhaps 300 years from now archaeologists of the day will discover traces, artifacts, of our culture and technology, and wonder ... what happened.

Re:All IS Lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330119)

or not...

Re:All IS Lost (1)

macson_g (1551397) | about 6 months ago | (#47330937)

More like 3000 years. It took us 1000 years to recover from the collapse of Roman Empire.

SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#47330159)

Part of me is happy to see NASA doing this kind of development.

On the other hand, I suspect that some version of SpaceX's Dragon will carry men into space long before Orion.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (1)

TwoUtes (1075403) | about 6 months ago | (#47330187)

It is very likely that the Dragon capsule will carry astronauts before Orion, but SpaceX, Boeing, Sierra Nevada, et. al. are only going to LEO, Orion is being developed for long duration deep space travel. Moon, asteroids, Mars perhaps.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (2)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#47330241)

Bear in mind that Musk's goal is long-duration deep space travel, so it still may be possible that SpaceX will still get there before Orion gets off the ground, especially if his successes in Earth orbit make it easier to continue development past it.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330275)

SpaceX capsule is for LEO. They would need to build something else for further out. Orion is for further out. They will not use Orion to get to space station. They will use Orion for other missions.

SpaceX is the contractor for LEO stuff and will remain so and it will be quite lucrative for them and for NASA. NASA needs contracts like SpaceX for things like orbiting fuel depot which will use quite a lot of cheap rockets, which fits perfectly with SpaceX's reusable rocket idea.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (1)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#47330359)

Yes, I understand what Dragon is for, and what they're contracted to do for NASA.

They themselves have the goal of going beyond that. Dragon, Falcon, and the other low-earth projects are stepping stones toward proving technologies needed for going further. Sure, there's a lot of tech that they'd need that won't be developed by Dragon/Falcon, but a whole lot of support and control systems can be tested where there's low risk (ie, unmanned missions or once manned, where actually occupied for only a short time) and once those are firmly reliable then they can apply those to other uses.

SpaceX might not make their goals, but so far they've come a hell of a lot further than any other non-public-sector project has.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (1)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 6 months ago | (#47330879)

SpaceX calls it Red Dragon [wikipedia.org] , their in-the-works Mars capsule.

yeah, the Michael Mann version... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 6 months ago | (#47335241)

Does it play the full 17[*] minutes of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida during re-entry?


[*] using the superior arrangement by Bartholomew J Simpson

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330791)

> SpaceX capsule is for LEO.

That sucks. Law enforcement in this country already has enough toys. I know the local guys just bought a couple of multi-million dollar drones. What in the hell are they going to do with this fancy parachute? It's just more Republicans wasting money.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#47331255)

Which is why this project should just be canceled. There are private companies working on this. We don't have the USG competing with Intel, "just in case" they don't beat Moore's law. There's not compelling national security interest in putting a man on Mars - the whole program should just be defunded and let the companies work out how to do it. Return the money to the taxpayers, pay for some more healthcare, or whatever - the first step is realizing that the NASA model is not required in this case.

Yeah, yeah, pork for Congressional districts.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47333205)

Which is why this project should just be canceled. There are private companies working on this. We don't have the USG competing with Intel, "just in case" they don't beat Moore's law. There's not compelling national security interest in putting a man on Mars - the whole program should just be defunded and let the companies work out how to do it. Return the money to the taxpayers, pay for some more healthcare, or whatever - the first step is realizing that the NASA model is not required in this case.

Yeah, yeah, pork for Congressional districts.

There is no need for government run health care. Private companies are working on this.
There is no need for municipal internet service. Private companies are working on this.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47333277)

Like NASA is going to be able to afford to go beyond LEO?? lol!!!

I can see a Russian-Chinese mission getting to Mars long before NASA is able to. As long as science continues takes a back seat in our nation NASA will barely have enough to keep the lights on.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (1)

caseih (160668) | about 6 months ago | (#47330299)

Yes I agree. I'm also happy that NASA is making progress on this. I think it's a worthwhile endeavor, even if it is tied to earmarks and corporate welfare, much moreso than SpaceX's lucrative NASA contracts.

I also am excited at what SpaceX is doing. They are certainly the farthest along, and most likely to succeed in the near term. Who knows. Maybe in the future if SpaceX is the only American company visiting the space station and hauling astronauts, they could just take over space station operations and open it up to civilian scientists. That'd be cool. If dangerous and impractical.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330899)

Certainly. NASA is busy with Muslim Outreach programs.

Re:SpaceX Will Beat NASA at this Game (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 6 months ago | (#47331169)

On the other hand, I suspect that some version of SpaceX's Dragon will carry men into space long before Orion.

Perhaps. But I suspect Orion will carry men back from space long before anyone ever figures out what happened to Dragon and its crew.

I really wish they named the ship something else (4, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 6 months ago | (#47330215)

Every time I see Orion mentioned, I get my hopes up about nuclear powered interstellar craft.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330227)

How about Uranus?

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 6 months ago | (#47330273)

You and me both. Let's spread the tag !nuclearpulsepropulsion to show our dismay!

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (1, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#47330777)

You both should do a little research on Gas Core Nuclear Rockets. Project Orion is never, ever going to fly.

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (2)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 6 months ago | (#47330881)

It might "fly", just not as a lifter. Interplanetary, sure...just not from Earth's surface.

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#47332361)

Lifting from the Earth's surface is the entire point. Once you're in orbit, any ol' thrust source will do.

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 6 months ago | (#47331113)

Pfft! We can still be disappointed.

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330281)

Why?

Re:I really wish they named the ship something els (3, Informative)

itzly (3699663) | about 6 months ago | (#47330749)

Even with a nuclear powered rocket, interstellar travel to the nearest neighbour will take more than a century, and that's just for a high speed fly-by. If you actually want to get in orbit, it'll take twice as long.

Enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47333339)

Yeah, well every time I hear the word "Enterprise", it makes me want to fucking hurl. I hate Star Trek.

However, I do think it is awesome that you guys advocated for the first space shuttle to be named "Enterprise". You know, the one that wasn't even capable of spaceflight. Ha ha ha ha, you fucking nerds. Suck my fat, hairy one.

Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330293)

The Republicans are just going to kill this like they've killed every single other thing science-related. After all, if you don't believe space exists, you don't want your tax money spent on it.

Re:Why bother? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330457)

I know, right? The Democrat president who introduced the Vision for Space Exploration [wikipedia.org] in 2004 really had vision. Return to the Moon, then on to Mars, and all in an ambitious timeframe.

I was so disappointed when the Republican president scrapped it in 2010 in favor of just retooling old hardware so his cronies could keep making the same hardware they'd been making for 30 years. Damn those Republicans and their willingness to scrap billions of dollars in research and development in order to start over again with inferior designs!

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330817)

Do Americans really talk like this? Just curious.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about 6 months ago | (#47331901)

Not true. It is Obama who tried to kill planetary science such as Mars missions and gut unmanned missions to fund the pork-y manned missions. There has never been a Administration that has been this hostile to unmanned missions.

Re:Why bother? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 6 months ago | (#47349113)

Yeah, but your facts don't play with AC's narrative that each and every Republican is a bible-thumping science-denying women-hating redneck gun-waving racist who wants to fire you and your family in order to throw another nickel into the olympic swimming pool filled with cash.

Just smile and nod, even if the smile is just a thinly veiled wince. And don't even think about explaining that the Democratic party has it's own extremist flank of tree-hugging tax-and-spend politically-correct welfare-state socialists that want to outlaw guns, cars, electric light, private education, and all religious organizations.

Maybe Moon not Mars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47330439)

Orion is not going to take man to Mars. It's way too small to deal with the enormous life support requirements for a journey to Mars.

Despite SpaceX and Nasa enthusiasm for a Mars trip the reality is we are at least several decades away from a manned Mars mission. Two way is unlikely any time soon because of cost. One could build a ship big enough for the mission in earth orbit but a big ship would probably need fuel to slow down as it approaches Mars. Aerobraking a large ship into Mars orbit is magnitudes more difficult (and risky) than tiny robot\ missions. A lander with fuel would be need to get both on and off the surface in a controlled fashion. Even more fuel required to accelerate the orbiting craft back to interplanetary speeds again. (maybe getaway with aerobreaking alone when approaching earth in a lighter return vehicle).

A one way tip seems much more feasible.

1. Main mission rocket and crew quarters assembled in low earth orbit over several missions

2. rocket that will carry crew to main mission rocket in orbit.(including lander)

3. unmanned supply ships waiting on the surface Mars (including crew living quarters, equipment to help with further expansion, medical supplies, seeds, scientific research equipment and all sorts of other goodies)

4. Figure out what technology is required to create a self-sustaining colony on Mars. The ISS has the luxury of constant resupply missions. Resupply to Mars would be much more rare. One tiny mistake by colonists in managing their food, water, energy, and oxygen supplies ends up with them dead. It would be unethical to have a one way suicide mission.

5. If we are to have permanent colonies, the mission must include a mandate for reproduction. You want to preplan who will be having babies with whom and how to make the gene pool as healthy as possible for further generations of reproduction (until the diversity is enough that people can choose to have children rather than be told who they must have children with). Just resolving the ethical issue of having children isolated on another planet will probably require years of legal wrangling.

Re:Maybe Moon not Mars (2)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 6 months ago | (#47330887)

Children on Mars would probably turn out...weird. Less gravity, higher radiation...after the 2nd generation they might not even be able to com4e back to earth!

Re:Maybe Moon not Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47331283)

I figure by the time we're ready for a medium-sized (10,000+ person) permanent settlement on Mars, maybe a hundred years down the road, we'll have some level of genetic engineering which will allow us to create the first generation of Homo Sapiens Astra, a spacefaring subspecies of humans who are better adapted to high radiation, low gravity environments.

Babies could either be created from a gene bank or modified at birth through in-vitro splicing.

Re:Maybe Moon not Mars (1)

painandgreed (692585) | about 6 months ago | (#47333701)

A one way tip seems much more feasible.

Once we have the ability to actually get to Mars with assurance to actually carry out the mission at all, getting back will be trivial. There's no need for a one way mission, and no ability to do a sustained base on the first try.

Re:Maybe Moon not Mars (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 6 months ago | (#47349135)

Here's the good thing about NASA's hardware: it usually has a docking port. Orion might be small, but so was the Apollo Command Module. However, once in orbit, you can rendezvous with something else that is already up there (or launched on the same rocket stack if you want to go 1960s mega-rocket) that has the supplies necessary for the journey, landing and stay. Then, when they blast off the surface of Mars, they rendezvous with another remote-controlled spacecraft following behind that is in Mars orbit, which has all the supplies necessary for the trip back, as well as a fresh booster filled with fuel for the return trip.

The astronauts could even do the remote control of the second spacecraft for Mars orbital entry and docking from the first in order to get around the transmission lag time inherent in any Mars mission. After all, most astronauts are accomplished pilots, and they're all pretty smart.

Not the first test, first test failed.... (5, Interesting)

caffiend666 (598633) | about 6 months ago | (#47330473)

Not the first test. First test failed five years ago.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVl6lCr1vCo [youtube.com] Have been other successful tests since then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMGTsGe4Nds [youtube.com] . Nowhere does the article describe these as the first tests....

Re:Not the first test, first test failed.... (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 6 months ago | (#47332459)

previous tests went into space first and did an end to end test. This will be the first test emulating a mission.

terminal velocity on mars (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 6 months ago | (#47331135)

What's the terminal velocity on Mars?

Re:terminal velocity on mars (1)

StankeyoSmith (3715761) | about 6 months ago | (#47331147)

What's the terminal velocity on Mars?

approximately 930 kph

Re:terminal velocity on mars (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 6 months ago | (#47331593)

That depends on 5 main factors:
air density (depends on altitude)
aerodynamic shape of the object
Frontal surface of the object
Mass of the object
The gravitational acceleration on Mars (approx 4 m/s^2)

If I assume the air pressure of 1% of earth means that the density is also 1% then:
p=0.1225 kg/m3.
If I assume a C of 1 (approximately a man facing the planet, see here [wikipedia.org] for more common C's), an A of 1m^2 and a m of 100kg

Plug all that in a calculator like this one [calctool.org] .

Then I get a terminal velocity of 82 m/s (or approx 300 km/u), if you drop down flat.
For earth that is approximately 145 km/h. For 300 you have to go face down (lower C and lower A).

Re:terminal velocity on mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47333613)

Your density may be good to four decimal places, but your decimal is in the wrong place. Martian density would be closer to 0.01kg/m^3, for a terminal velocity about 3x higher. Whee!!!

Re:terminal velocity on mars (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 6 months ago | (#47334285)

If I assume the air pressure of 1% of earth means that the density is also 1% then: p=0.1225 kg/m3.

Then I get a terminal velocity of 82 m/s (or approx 300 km/u), if you drop down flat.

You're off by an order of magnitude on that atmospheric density. Terminal velocity is going to be three times that high.

Re:terminal velocity on mars (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 6 months ago | (#47332127)

What's the terminal velocity on Mars?

Same as on Earth -- Zero. You're not terminal until you smack into the planet. Do you mean "Maximum screaming for your life velocity"? You hit that just before hitting terminal velocity.

It's a joke, Son.

turn back time (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about 6 months ago | (#47331633)

Looks like something from 40 years ago.

I am Jack's utter lack of awe... (2)

Assmasher (456699) | about 6 months ago | (#47331665)

Seriously NASA?

SpaceX is launching rockets that effing land themselves and you're celebrating that your parachute works? Well, those are new...

why do they need parachutes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47333057)

should not a 21st century space craft land on its own... What are they in the stone age or something.

Screw 112-454.B Installed (0)

kellymcdonald78 (2654789) | about 6 months ago | (#47338309)

For Immediate Release Hundreds of dignitaries gathered on Wednesday at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Plant in Littleton CO for the installation of screw 112-454.B in NASA's latest emerging spacecraft the Orion Test Article. Vice President Biden was on hand to celebrate this important milestone on America's return to space.. "We salute the hard work of hundreds of thousands of American's from every state in the union for their efforts in ensuring the successful installation of screw 112-454.B. They represent the dreams of all American's as we seek to restore the capability of flying astronauts to the International Space Station, beyond, and perhaps one day this century or next, to Mars or even the Moon" Program Lead Dr Elliot Hoefstader highlighted the over 10,000 hours of computer and virtual reality simulations that paved the way for the installation of the screw "We're very proud of the work this team accomplished over the last 9 months and we can see the outcome in the how smoothly things went this morning. Later this fall we'll be installing screw 11-454.C and we hope that over the next 3-4 years we'll have all 12 screws installed on this panel. If all goes as planned we expect the test article to fly by 2030 and if funding is sustained, a manned flight perhaps in time for the centennial of Yuri Gagarin historic journey" Senator Richard Shelby (R- AL) cheered as the screw was installed, leading the crowd in a rousing chant of "Pork, Pork, Pork, Pork" When asked about comparisons to companies participating in NASAs CiCAP program, Senator Shelby expressed his concern "I can't in good conscious support hard earned money going to companies building death traps and taking money away from United Launch Alliance. After all look at all of this" pointing to the half warehouse full of binders, "without these 2.5 billion pages of screw cost information, how can we ensure that American's are getting value for their hard earned dollars. I bet those SpaceX folks would just buy a screw at Home Depot. If everyone did this, imagine the critical losses in America's manufacturing base. We have a national security interest to ensure we have the capability to build screws here, when we need them" Representatives of the European Space Agency were on hand as the screwdriver used to install screw 112-454-B was assembled in France, Germany, Italy and Denmark as part of an international partnership for future shared access to space
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