The training is in preparation for a 2018 test flight around the moon using the first Space Launch System, a giant rocket being built for eventual flights to Mars.
Navy personnel aboard the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego tested new hardware and procedures for recovering the 20,000-pound capsule.
Capt. Carl Meuser, commanding officers of the San Diego, said it’s similar to recovering a Marine hovercraft. Navy divers will attach tow lines so the floating capsule can be winched into the ship’s well deck.
“It turns out to be a great platform for recovering space capsules,” he said.
NASA will be back next year for more tests, and then with greater frequency once manned flights begin in 2021.
“This is the primary recovery area, just off the coast of San Diego,” said Tom Walker, rescue and recovery lead for the Orion project at the Johnson Space Center.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: