NASA tests Orion spacecraft’s parachute landing system

NASA conducted a test of the parachutes that will help land it’s Orion spacecraft on Wednesday (March 8) in the air over the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

According to NASA, a model of the Orion spacecraft, the U.S. spaceship designed to one day fly astronauts to Mars, was dropped from a C-17 aircraft flying at an altitude of 25,000 feet (7.6 km).

NASA says the parachutes are necessary to slow Orion’s descent and return the spacecraft safely to earth.