The Underway Recovery Test (URT) is the NASA demonstration of open water recovery of the Orion capsule utilizing the Department of Defense (NAVY) ship LPD (amphibious recovery ship), NASA support equipment and personnel. During the Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1), the capsule is expected to splashdown approximately 700 miles southwest of San Diego, CA.
During these training exercises conducted approximately 100 miles off-shore of San Diego, CA the integrated Navy/NASA team practices an open water recovery operation. This includes using a small boat flotilla to safely secure this capsule at sea, and then transferring and securing the capsule on-board the ship. Post recovery operations include providing services for ship-based Orion processing, off-loading and preparation for ground transport back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
To date the joint team has conducted two Navy/NASA URTs, with the next open water test (URT2) planned for July 31 – Aug 5th of this year. Other open water exercises are planned for September. These series of progressively more challenging test are based on the Landing & Recovery (L&R) training philosophy of “crawl, walk, run” to prepare the team for mission operations. The Imagery Science and Analysis team at NASA’s Johnson Space Center are an integral part of the NASA ship-based efforts providing the oversight, planning and operational imagery on behalf of the KSC Landing & Recovery team for all phases of testing and the mission.
See more about our Image Science & Analysis team here: http://imagescience.jsc.nasa.gov