The capsule has been designed to support a crew of four people in a 316-cubic-feet (8.9-cubic-meters) environment. The entire Orion assembly comprises the service module, the crew module, and the launch abort system, and the crew module is designed to bring the astronauts back home safely.
Unlike the Boeing Starliner capsule, which has been designed as the first spacecraft capable of landing on hard soil, Orion will use the classic NASA approach, and it will drop into the sea. But before it gets to do that for real, the agency has to be sure it is up for the task.
Earlier in March, the North American space agency announced it had begun a series of four water impact drop tests at the Landing and Impact Research Facility Hydro Impact Basin at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
The tests are meant to simulate a few landing scenarios as close to real-world conditions as possible and determine what the crew may have to face during those rough few seconds when the capsule hits the water.
The tests are mandatory for the spaceship’s structural design and requirement verification and will have to be finalized by the time the Artemis II mission takes off.