Everyone’s childhood dream probably included being an astronaut. For most of us, that never happened. But, a video released by NASA will make you feel like one.
The Orion spacecraft was successfully tested earlier this month. Yesterday, NASA released a 10 minute video showing us what the ride back to earth would look like from within the Orion capsule.
The video above begins right as Orion is entering Earth’s atmosphere.
Extremely hot ionized gas surrounds Orion as it hits the atmosphere at a blistering 20,000 mph.
“Peak heating from the friction caused by the atmosphere rubbing against Orion’s heat shield comes less than two minutes later, and the footage shows the plasma created by the interaction change from white to yellow to lavender to magenta as the temperature increases,” reads a NASA press release.
After the fiery entry, the Reaction Control System jets fire and steer Orion to a 6 mile wide landing zone in the Pacific Ocean.
From there it’s up to the parachutes. A set of drogue parachutes deployed at 22,000 feet. Shortly after, the main parachutes are deployed. Orion finishes off its test flight with a smooth 3 minute descent under its main parachutes until it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.
The 10 minute trip sees Orion go from 20,000 mph to a gentle 20 mph on splashdown.
What’s next for the Orion spacecraft? Work has begun on a second test flight. This one will be one of the most ambitious in decades. It will travel on top of NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket and will orbit around the moon.
The second test flight is expected to launch sometime in 2018.