Raytheon has partnered with NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory to develop equipment and procedures for safely recovering astronauts from the Lockheed Martin-built Orion capsule upon its reentry to Earth through an ocean landing.
The team is facilitating landing and recovery exercises at the NBL in Houston in preparation for open-water extraction during Orion’s splashdown in the Pacific Ocean following NASA’s planned Artemis 2 lunar flyby mission in 2023, Raytheon said Tuesday.
Lisa Lundquist, project manager for Orion landing and recovery at Raytheon, said the team has developed contingency plans for various splashdown scenarios including cases when the capsule lands upside down in order to prevent astronauts from experiencing landing-related distress.
“All of the testing, engineering and small high-fidelity changes will pay off when Orion begins its missions to the Moon and beyond,” added Randall Lindner, operations contract program manager for Raytheon at NBL.
Raytheon and NASA have been developing prototype equipment as well as testing and training procedures for the Orion crew recovery effort for five years.