. 24/7 Space News .
Test Dummies to Help Assess Crew Safety in Orion
by Staff Writers
Hampton VA (SPX) Mar 04, 2016

NASA engineers install a male and female test dummy into a water landing Orion test article. Test dummies are used to collect data on the impact astronauts could experience when splashing down in the Pacific Ocean during a NASA space mission. Credits: NASA/David C. Bowman

Engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, are preparing for a series of water-impact tests to evaluate the Orion spacecraft and crew safety when they return from deep-space missions and touch down on Earth's surface.

After venturing thousands of miles beyond Earth, Orion will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. At Langley, engineers are preparing to mimic various mission finale scenarios this year by dropping a mockup of Orion, coupled with the heat shield from the spacecraft's first flight, into Langley's 20-foot-deep Hydro Impact Basin. NASA is building Orion to launch atop the world's most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), and carry astronauts to deep space destinations, including on the journey to Mars.

"We are excited about this testing because we'll have suited-up test dummies inside the capsule," said Ellen Carpenter, Langley project manager. "Including test dummies will help NASA ensure the crew is protected from injury during splashdown in future missions."

Water-impact testing will help NASA evaluate how the spacecraft may behave when landing under its parachutes in different wind conditions and wave heights. Langley has already conducted dozens of splash tests with a less sophisticated capsule mockup, but this is the first time it will assess the higher fidelity Orion ground test article.

Two test dummies - one representing a 105-pound woman and the other a 220-pound man to assess the impact on different-sized people - have been installed in the crew seats of the Orion mockup.

"These test dummies are the same type of test dummies that are used in the automotive industry for front collisions," said Rick Ybarra, test engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Flight Center.

Each dummy was lifted and then manually installed into the interior of the capsule. Prior to installation, engineers placed tiny sensors inside the test dummies, which will be used to help NASA understand the loads the crew could experience when returning from deep space destinations.

Within the next few weeks, engineers will apply a waterproof coat to the capsule and complete final sensor checks with a data acquisition system. The capsule itself is wired with sensors that allow engineers to collect data during the water-impact testing.

"Preliminary work is key to a successful drop," Carpenter explained. "It allows the sensors to be verified ahead of time, so that the most accurate test data can be acquired."

Engineers will start the series of nine drop tests in early spring. During the first three tests, engineers will drop the capsule vertically at different angles into the basin. For those tests the dummies won't be equipped with suits and helmets. After the third test, the dummies will be outfitted with spacesuits and helmets. After the four vertical tests are completed, the capsule will undergo a series of five swing tests. The dummies will remain in the seats fully suited for those.

According to Carpenter, collecting data on the dummies with and without suits allows engineers to make comparisons, which will aid in the computer modeling of Orion's splashdown.

"The suit has some influence on how the body responds to the loads," added Langley project engineer Jim Corliss. "Imagine you have a helmet on your head that has some weight to it. Lateral loads contribute to throwing your head side to side so there's an advantage to understanding how the test dummies respond with and without the helmet."

Water-impact testing is one of many steps required to ensure Orion will meet the demands of sending humans to deep space for the first time and in the future on the journey to Mars.

During Orion's next mission, Exploration Mission-1, the uncrewed spacecraft will launch atop the SLS, travel more than 40,000 miles beyond the moon and return at speeds up to 25,000 mph.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Journey to Mars.
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Orion launch abort motor case passes structural qualification test
Dulles VA (SPX) Mar 02, 2016
Orbital ATK has conducted a structural qualification test January 26 on its abort motor case that is being manufactured for use on NASA's Orion spacecraft. Orbital ATK's launch abort motor is integral to Orion's Launch Abort System, which is designed to ensure the safety of astronauts who will fly on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). The successful test of the Motor Structural Test (MST-1) ... read more

NASA May Return to Moon, But Only After Cutting Off ISS

Lunar love: When science meets artistry

New Lunar Exhibit Features NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Imagery

NASA releases strange 'music' heard by 1969 astronauts

MAVEN Observes Mars Moon Phobos in the Mid- and Far-Ultraviolet

SSL developing robotic sample handling assembly for Mars 2020

Monster volcano gave Mars extreme makeover: study

Rover begins contact science of rock target on Knudsen Ridge

Launch America: Suni Williams on Commercial Crew

Orion Solar Array Wing Deployment Test is a Success

Orion launch abort motor case passes structural qualification test

Former Marine astronaut leading flight plans for NASA's mission

China to Launch Over 100 Long March Rockets Within Five Years

Moving in to Tiangong 2

Logistics Rule on Tiangong 2

China to launch second space lab Tiangong-2 in Q3

International Space Station's '1-year crew' returns to Earth

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko return to Earth after One-Year Mission

Paragon wins NASA ISS water processor development contract

NASA's Science Command Post Supports Scott Kelly's Year In Space

At last second, SpaceX delays satellite launch again

Arianespace Soyuz to launch 2 Galileo satellites in May

SpaceX postpones rocket launch again

Russian rocket engines ban could leave US space program in limbo

Imaging Technique May Help Discover Earth-Like Planets Around Other Stars

Newly discovered planet in the Hyades cluster could shed light on planetary evolution

Imaging technique may help discover Earth-like planets

Longest-Lasting Stellar Eclipse Discovered

New NIST method may find elusive flaws in medical implants and spacecraft

Spacepath Communications creates new joint venture with Polarity in US

Chinese firm abandons acquisition over US scrutiny

Bone research could yield stronger synthetic materials

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.