When NASA astronauts aboard the Orion crew capsule splash down in the Pacific Ocean after a trip beyond the Moon, their journey isn’t over just yet. As the capsule bobs up and down in the ocean waves, the astronauts will experience gravity for the first time in weeks after their 25,000-mile-per-hour journey in space while they await the recovery team.
To ensure the astronauts have the smoothest ride possible from the splashdown site to the recovery ship, NASA’s Landing and Recovery Team has enlisted the help of a small consulting firm named General Dynamics Applied Physical Sciences (APS). The company studies marine hydrodynamics, or the movement of water in the ocean, and is charged with helping NASA and the U.S. Navy chart the best course to minimize wave impact to the capsule – and the crew.
This article appeared online at Nasa.gov.
Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett