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The competition heats up: NASA plans to test the parachutes for the Orion capsule today.
Wednesday’s test will see an Orion prototype dropped from a plane at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,700 meters) over the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in southwestern Arizona. Engineers will simulate a series of failures and test the parachute system’s ability to adapt and land the capsule safely. Orion has three main parachutes, and the NASA team plans to simulate the failure of one of the trio to see if the landing sequence can proceed safely with only two.