The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
The mad dash to Omaha
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 21, 2024

After Texas A&M baseball’s win over Florida sent the Aggies to their first Men’s College World Series Championship Series in program...

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

NASA’s next-gen manned spaceflight passes first test

Friday morning evoked emotions of a bygone era at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, as NASA launched a spacecraft capable of containing human life out of low earth orbit for the first time in more than 40 years.
The Orion spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, launched at 7:05 a.m atop the Delta IV Heavy rocket and flew for a total of 4 and ½ hours before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean southwest of San Diego. During the flight Orion reached a distance of 3,604 miles above Earth, a distance roughly 15 times higher than the International Space Station, and had Mission Control’s Rob Navias saying “there’s your new spacecraft, America” as the capsule came in for it’s watery landing.
Gregory Chamitoff, former NASA Astronaut and director of the A&M AeroSpace, Technology, Research & Operations (ASTRO) Center, said the test flight was very significant for Orion and served to validate many of the crucial systems on what is to be the centerpiece of U.S. future space exploration.
“As our program is today, this is the centerpiece of our future access to missions to the Moon, Mars, asteroids, or anywhere else we are likely to go for the next 20 plus years,” Chamitoff said “[Friday’s test] did not test the rocket we will actually use, but it was an important test of the flight systems, especially the re-entry capability.”
Chamitoff said although a lot of this type of testing has been done before in previous U.S. space programs such as Apollo, the Orion spacecraft is bigger and more capable than anything previously tested.
“Of course, we’ve done most of this before, long ago. So on the surface it doesn’t seem as significant as it is.” Chamitoff said. “But Orion is bigger and more capable than any previous ‘Space Capsule’. It will carry a larger crew and can support them for a much longer time.”
Chamitoff said it is important to realize that the space capsule is only one piece of the vast array of equipment needed for space exploration.
He said that when it comes to the fully equipping a crew with what they will need to be successful in space exploration we should look to our international partners.
“We’ll need space and surface habitats, laboratories, airlocks, landers, surface return vehicles and whatever other facilities are required to carry out any particular mission of exploration,” Chamitoff said. ”For this we’ll need to, and should, turn to our international partners. The Space Station has been a shining example of international cooperation, and I hope that we will take that lesson forward to accomplish so much more than we can alone, by making future exploration truly a world project.”
The United State Navy retrieved the Orion capsule from the Pacific Ocean Monday, with help from NASA and Lockheed Martin, and loaded the space capsule aboard the USS Anchorage to begin its journey back to Cape Canaveral in Florida. It was thought that the next scheduled test flight might take place in late December of 2017, but Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer said in a briefing that this would almost certainly be pushed back into 2018. The next test flight will also be unmanned.

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