Though TV broadcasts of returning-to-Earth astronauts crashing into the sea in their capsules and being successfully recovered by the Navy has become a thing of past, Thursday saw many of them going through the drill again, after almost a gap of a generation.
Several Days of Tests
On Thursday, NASA and Navy together completed several days of tests during which they practiced the recovery of a mock-up of the Orion capsule. This is the ship that US is considering sending to asteroids and Mars in the future. However, for the tests, the capsule remained unmanned.
The exercise was carried out the by the Navy crew and divers of the USS Arlington in the calm waters of the Elizabeth River at a Naval Station Norfolk pier.
Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of US Fleet Forces Command said that the Navy was proud to be able to take part in the task of recovering astronauts just as they had done when NASA was putting man on the moon.