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NASA testing spacecraft's water impact in Va

Friday - 9/7/2012, 2:47am  ET

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - NASA is again testing the water impact of the Orion spacecraft at its Langley Research Center in Hampton.

The space agency says it is scheduled to test the impact of an 18,000-pound test version of the spacecraft Friday. It did similar tests last week.

Some testing began last summer to certify the Orion spacecraft for water landings. Officials say during the most recent tests Orion is being dropped vertically for the first time.

NASA says the first space-bound Orion capsule will launch on an uncrewed flight planned for 2014.

That test will see Orion travel farther than any human spacecraft has gone in more than 40 years. It will eventually carry astronauts and provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during travel, and ensure safe re-entry and landing.

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