The Orion capsule on its pendulum, preparing for its splashdown test.

I have a much more detailed post brewing about the Tweetup at NASA’s Langley Research Center I participated in today, but here’s a little taste:

  • We witnessed a splashdown test of the experimental Orion capsule, NASA’s proposed next-generation vehicle for human spaceflight.
  • We visited one of the wind tunnels, which uses very cold nitrogen at high pressures, allowing the use of much smaller models than full-size mock-ups for testing.
  • We had a chance to talk to several scientists and engineers working in atmospheric research, re-entry technology, modules for living on other worlds, and so forth.

It was a good day, and I will share more about it soon.

In the meantime, if you’re in the Washington, DC area on Thursday, I will be speaking at thirstDC on “Boxing the Universe (and the Gloves Are Off)”. I’ll be sharing the stage with Chris Mooney, freelance journalist Marcus Dowling, and engineer/science advocate Joseph Meyerowitz.

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