The Orion spacecraft was off-loaded from the well deck of the USS Anchorage Monday night after the amphibious ship docked in San Diego. The ship’s crew along with NASA and Lockheed Martin teams retrieved the spacecraft from the Pacific Ocean at the end of the highly successful Orion flight test that saw the Orion fly about 3,600 miles above Earth in a 4.5-hour evaluation of critical systems and mechanisms including jettison events and the ability of the heat shield to stand up to temperatures of 4,000 degrees F. Next up for Orion, a trip cross-country back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Orion has been safely recovered and was placed inside the USS Anchorage right after recovery. After the crew module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, a team of NASA, U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin personnel attached hardware to the spacecraft, allowing them to move it into the ship’s well deck and nestling Orion onto several bumpers on the bottom of the deck. Now Orion crew module is off-loaded for its trip to Florida.