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Door problem delays Arizona test drop of Orion spacecraft replica

(Twitter Photo)

YUMA, Ariz. — NASA said a planned test of the Orion spacecraft’s parachutes has been postponed because the cargo door didn’t open on the aircraft that was supposed to drop a replica of the spacecraft.

Members of the NASA team waited at the Yuma Proving Ground in the southwestern Arizona desert while a C-17 transport flew overhead at 35,000 feet before finally announcing that there’d be no drop Wednesday.

The drop will test whether two of the spacecraft’s three main chutes can slow it enough to land safely.

Mike Sarafin, a NASA lead flight director, said rescheduling the test will depend on how quickly workers can troubleshoot the door problem.

Sarafin said the problem of getting aircraft’s door to open at high altitude was a problem discussed in contingency planning.

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