Encapsulating history

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. – A mockup of the Orion crew exploration vehicle, seen here tethered to NASA’s Freedom Star solid-rocket-booster recovery ship, was put through initial recovery testing at the Trident Basin at Port Canaveral, Fla., Mar. 8. Pararescuemen from the Air Force Reserve’s 920th Rescue Wing deployed an inflatable flotation collar during the test. The collar is designed both to stabilize the capsule after water landing and provide a platform for recovery personnel to stand on during the operation. Orion is targeted to begin carrying humans to the International Space Station in 2015 and to the moon by 2020. Orion is part of the NASA’s Constellation Program. Reservists from the 920th provide contingency medical and recovery support for all NASA shuttle launches. The unit’s primary mission is combat search and rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Paul Flipse)

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