NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Orion splashdown. Parachute descent and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean of the Orion spacecraft (Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle). This first test flight, without crew, was launched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket on December 5, 2014, on a flight lasting 4 hours and 24 minutes. The footage shows the use of a set of parachutes collectively known as the Capsule Parachute Assembly System (CPAS). Drogue parachutes (successively discarded) are deployed first to stabilise and slow the spacecraft after re-entry and aid deployment of the three main parachutes (orange and white). Orion is intended to carry a crew of four astronauts and facilitate exploration of asteroids and of Mars, as well as delivering crew or supplies to the International Space Station.
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