When astronauts come home in Orion from deep-space missions, they’ll need a strategy for a safe and efficient exit. At NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, teams are performing a series of tests Oct. 6-8 to evaluate the most efficient way for astronauts to get out of the spacecraft after weeks or months away from Earth.
Read more: NASA Tests Crew Exit Strategy for Orion
In the above photo, NASA astronaut Suni Williams exits a test version of the Orion spacecraft in the agency’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston.
The buoyancy lab, NASA’s 6.2 million gallon pool that is primarily used to train astronauts underwater for spacewalks, provides a controlled environment where recovery personnel can practice techniques to assist people getting out of a test version of the crew module. The facility previously has been used to develop ways to approach and harness Orion for its first flight test last year, known as Exploration Flight Test-1 or EFT-1, and to develop manual uprighting procedures, if they were to become necessary.
The above image shows a panorama of the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
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