“All test objectives were accomplished as planned,” said Melissa Jones, NASA landing and recovery director. “The success of this week would not have been possible without the positivity and experience of the John P. Murtha crew.”
The test, which took place in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego, was the seventh in a series to develop procedures to safely retrieve the capsule-shaped Orion crew module.
The Orion is designed to carry a crew of four astronauts beyond low-earth orbit, to the moon, nearby asteroids and perhaps Mars using NASA’s giant Space Launch System rocket. The next test flight is set for 2019, and the first flight with a crew is scheduled for 2021.
San Antonio-class ships like the John P. Murtha have a well deck into which an Orion capsule can be floated after splashdown from a mission.
“John P. Murtha was tasked to assist NASA with their seventh Underway Recovery Test. Our crew executed of every assignment given to them flawlessly and their recovery-at-sea experience and dedication directly contributed to our overall mission success,” said Capt. Tony Roach, commanding officer of the ship.
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