VIDEO GIVES INSIDE LOOK
AT TRIAL BY FIRE FOR NASA'S ORION SPACECRAFT
New video recorded during NASA’s Orion return through Earth’s atmosphere
provides viewers a taste of what the vehicle endured as it returned through
Earth’s atmosphere during its Dec. 5 flight test.
The video begins 10 minutes before Orion's 11:29 a.m. EST splashdown in the
Pacific Ocean, just as the spacecraft was beginning to experience Earth's
atmosphere. Peak heating from the friction caused by the atmosphere rubbing
against Orion's heat shield comes less than two minutes later, and the footage
shows the plasma created by the interaction change from white to yellow to
lavender to magenta as the temperature increases. The video goes on to show the
deployment of Orion’s parachutes and the final splash as it touches down.