Lockheed Martin’s Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle (MPCV) is still many years and years away from seeing the cold vacuum of space. Until then, it’ll see the cold water of NASA’s Langley testing pool, getting repeatedly dunked at 55 MPH.
The crane flinging mechanism is meant to ensure an actual splashdown wouldn’t rip the Orion craft apart—a very important test to get out of the way! The splish splash test above was the third in its series, simulating a disaster scenario with a 50% chance of flipping upside down. Which is definitely not the way you want to return to Earth. [In Focus and NASA]
Photo: Sean Smith/NASA