As the trip to Mars closes in, NASA astronauts are being tested for their ability to control the Orion spacecraft. While the test is important, it is only one of the obstacles these brave men and women will have to face on their voyage to the red planet.
The test required the astronauts to don their spacesuits and see whether they are able to interact with the control systems of the spacecraft when wearing the uncomfortable gear.
NASA has designed Orion to become the next delivery system to space, and is capable of transporting humans to the orbit of our planet, but also beyond to the infinite Universe. It is also set to take the astronauts to Mars, on a trip that will be held sometime in the 2030s.
According to the statement released on the official website of NASA by officials, the engineers of the Johnson Space Center of NASA in Houston are currently in the process of evaluating various aspects of the voyage.
First, they have to determine how crews inside a copy of Orion can interact with the cursor control device and rotational hand controller when they are wearing the Modified Advanced Crew Escape suits. This is primordial for the voyage, since the controllers are tools for operating the control system and displays of the spacecraft, and the crew will use them to both interact with and maneuver Orion in missions taking them to destinations in the deep space.
Named the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the spacecraft is made to carry four astronauts beyond the orbit of Earth, and is the first to do so since 2011 when the space shuttle program of NASA was retired. The last vehicle to carry humans further LEO was Saturn V, a spacecraft that was retired back in 1973.
Specialists are positive NASA will succeed in landing the spacecraft on the red planet safely in about twenty years. Until now, Orion has already been tested for a flight in 2014 was successful in completing two Earth orbits. In this way, NASA has verified its critical safety equipment. According to the space agency,
“NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.”
The project is being developed at the same time with the Space Launch System, which will become the most powerful rocket in history by transferring humans to other places for the first time.
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