Sunday, March 11, 2012
April 8, 2009 ... NASA tests its Post-landing Orion Recovery Test (PORT) article at the Trident Basin in Port Canaveral.
Despite the inclement weather, I went to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this morning. Walking through the Rocket Garden, I saw a new addition — an Orion test article.
I found a staff member and was told that this was used in April 2009 for the Post-landing Orion Recovery Test (PORT), first at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in West Bethesda, Maryland, and then in the Trident Basin at Port Canaveral.
The test article today is covered with signatures, some within the last couple months, so it's probably not just folks who worked on the program. Not exactly Smithsonian preservation standards.
Below are images I took this morning of the display in the Rocket Garden. I've no idea if this is temporary, or a permanent display.
UPDATE March 12, 2012 4:45 PM EDT — Robert Pearlman of collectSPACE.com says that the above module is a test article for Orion Pad Abort 1, not the PORT vehicle: