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Naval Test Pilot School Students Evaluate Orion Handling Qualities at NASA

NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIVISION, Patuxent River, MD: As part of a technical exchange with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, 24 test pilots under instruction from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) were invited to spend a week at NASA to evaluate the Orion spacecraft controls and displays during orbital maneuvering and re-entry procedures. The Johnson Space Center is where astronauts primarily train for their missions to space. The technical exchange is a two-week segment of the intense, 11-month USNTPS curriculum that gives students exposure to other agencies, governments, and organizations that perform flight tests at different classifications and technology levels. This year, students spent one week of that exchange experience at NASA. “Test Pilot School teaches students not only how to test aircraft, but any system, software, or vehicle for any potential missions,” said Cmdr. Jeffrey Webb, fixed-wing flight instructor at USNTPS. “The evaluation of the Orion spacecraft gave them opportunity to broaden their experience and think about flight testing in an unfamiliar system, performing unfamiliar tasks, to accomplish an unfamiliar mission.” Capt. Adam Klein is Chief Test Pilot for NAWCAD’s Atlantic Test Ranges (ATR) at Patuxent River, Maryland. He is also a […]

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