Even NASA Relies on Willard Marine RIBs
On December 5, U.S. Navy Sailors tended to the Orion Crew Module as it was towed by a Willard Marine 11m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) into the well deck of the USS Anchorage (LPD 23). The ship’s crew along with NASA and Lockheed Martin teams retrieved the spacecraft from the Pacific Ocean at the end of the highly successful Orion flight test that saw the Orion fly about 3,600 miles above Earth in a 4.5-hour evaluation of critical systems and mechanisms including jettison events and the ability of the heat shield to stand up to temperatures of 4,000 degrees F.
Sailors from Expeditionary Strike Group Three, USS Anchorage, USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight (HSC 8), Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One, Fleet Combat Camera Pacific, and Fleet Weather Center San Diego were in the Pacific Ocean supporting the Orion Crew Module recovery operations. Anchorage was conducting the first exploration test flight for the NASA Orion program. EFT-1 is the fifth at sea testing of the Orion Crew Module using a Navy well deck recovery method. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul Seeber/Released). To get the latest news on the Orion flight test, please visit NASA’s website at http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion/index.html#.VIcxItLF8fY.