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A model of NASA's Orion spacecraft is poised to be dropped from a C-17 airplane 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) above the Arizona dessert to test its parachute system on May 1, 2013.

A model of NASA's Orion spacecraft is poised to be dropped from a airplane feet meters) above the Arizona dessert to test its parachute system on May

A model of NASAs Orion spacecraft is loaded into a C-17 airplane on May 1, 2013. The capsule was dropped from an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) above the Arizona dessert to test its parachutes.

A model of NASA's Orion spacecraft is loaded into the airplane that then dropped it from an altitude of feet above the Arizona dessert. The test took place at the U. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz., on Wednesday, May

Loading Operations for Orion Spacecraft Parachute Test | NASA

Loading Operations for Orion Spacecraft Parachute Test

Loading Operations for Orion Spacecraft Parachute Test. A test version of the Orion spacecraft is loaded onto a aircraft on The test was part of a series of parachute tests that will enable NASA to certify Orion to carry humans into space.

NASA - Orion Crew Module Undergoes Static Load Tests

Orion Crew Module Undergoes Static Load Tests

NASA's Orion crew module successfully passed its static loads tests on Wednesday.

The first space-bound Orion

Orion Spacecraft

Orion Parachute Drop Test on May 1, 2013  A model of NASA’s Orion spacecraft glides to a successful touchdown during a test of its parachute system on Wednesday, May 1. Orion’s three main parachutes, which slow it gradually down for landing, weigh 300 pounds each and can cover almost an entire football field.

Orion Parachute Drop Test on May 1, 2013

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Engineers prepare Orion’s service module for installation of the fairings that will protect it during launch this fall when Orion launches on its first mission. The service module, along with its fairings, is now complete.

A crane lifts a replica Launch Abort System off its trailer so it can be placed atop a mockup Orion capsule

Engineers, crane operators and technicians practiced the careful maneuvers that will be required to stack a Launch Abort System onto an Orion spacecraft.

The first stage of the Antares rocket stands on the pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility ahead of its February 2013 engine test-firing.

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility will provide launch range support for an Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket engine test scheduled for Feb.

Tenth Parachute Test for NASA's Orion Adds 10,000 Feet of Success | NASA

Tenth Parachute Test for NASA's Orion

A complicated, high-altitude test Wednesday demonstrated NASA's new Orion spacecraft could land safely even if one of its parachutes failed.

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