USS Anchorage Leaves San Diego to Test Orion Spaceship Recovery

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The USS Anchorage at Naval Base San Diego. Navy photo

The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage departed Naval Base San Diego on Wednesday to test recovery of NASA’s Orion deep-space craft  off the Southern California coast.

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It will be the fourth time that Navy ships from San Diego have tested recovery on the Orion spacecraft. The test will be conducted using a mock capsule of roughly the same size, shape and center of gravity as NASA’s Orion crew module.

Ships like the Anchorage have well decks into which a floating space capsule can be towed for recovery.

The first Orion flight is scheduled for next year, although it won’t carry a crew in that test. The spacecraft is designed to carry up to six astronauts to the Moon and Mars.

The Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle. NASA photo

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