NASA conducted a test of the Orion spacecraft’s parachute system today. Unlike the image posted here, today’s test saw the intentional failure of one of the capsule’s parachutes to see if the spacecraft could land safely on just two of its three parachutes. Photo Credit: NASA

Upward and Forward: Orion Gains New Support, Tests Parachute Failure

By Jason Rhian

NASA’s new crewed, deep space exploration spacecraft, Orion, has gained Burlingame, Calif.-based ARES Technical Services Corp to handle the capsule’s program integration. NASA issued a press release on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, to make the announcement.

ARES has entered into a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with NASA that could see the company earn as much as $49 million, including options. The contract is scheduled to begin on April 1 and has a base performance period lasting two-and-a-half years, with a total of two additional years possible.

The work that ARES will conduct on the Orion spacecraft will be done at NASA’s Johnson Space Center located in Houston, Texas, as well as other centers and facilities around the United States.

NASA is working to develop Orion to transport crews to destinations beyond the orbit of Earth. These could potentially include the Moon, an asteroid, and, perhaps one day, Mars.

Read more: Upward and Forward: Orion Gains New Support, Tests Parachute Failure « AmericaSpace.

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