News: Anchorage departs for NASA testing
Story by Chief Petty Officer Elena Pence
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) departed Naval Base San Diego to conduct the second Underway Recovery Test (URT-2) for NASA’s Orion Program, July 31-Aug. 2.
URT-2 is the second at-sea testing of the Orion crew module using a well-deck recovery method. The first testing was conducted on board USS San Diego (LPD 22).
“The Navy has a long tradition of partnership with NASA. The Navy has many unique capabilities that make it ideal for supporting NASA. Several of those capabilities are found in amphibious ships; the ability to embark helicopters, conduct wet-well operations, launch and recover small boats, conduct air search with three dimensional radar and operate advanced medical facilities,” said commanding officer, Cmdr. Joel Stewart. “Anchorage just completed successful mine warfare operations in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise, and in two days they quickly reconfigured the ship to support NASA's next-generation spacecraft as part of the underway testing for Orion."
During the URT, a test model of the crew module will be deployed from Anchorage and recovered to finalize techniques and procedures.
The first test, the Stationary Recovery Test, occurred at Naval Station Norfolk in August 2013 aboard USS Arlington (LPD 24).
Expeditionary Strike Group 3 is leading URT-2 which includes Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, providing air support for observation and documentation. Also, Anchorage Sailors are conducting small boat operations using rigid-hulled inflatable boats supporting Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1’s divers. Fleet Weather Center San Diego will monitor and report sea and weather conditions during the test
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