Models of NASA's Spacecraft, Rover Leave Peninsula for Inaugural Parade

HAMPTON, Va., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two pieces of important NASA hardware from this region, full-scale models of NASA's Orion spacecraft and Mars Curiosity Rover, are going to be included in the 57th Inaugural Parade, Jan. 21, in Washington.

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Transported from NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., the Orion model has been used to imitate various water landing scenarios for the nation's next-generation spacecraft that will carry astronauts farther into the solar system than ever before. The testing with this model has simulated different velocities, parachute deployments, entry angles, wave heights and wind conditions that the real spacecraft may one day encounter when landing in the ocean.

The Curiosity Rover model, transported from Hampton's Virginia Air and Space Center, is a full-scale replica of the rover that landed on Mars in August 2012 and is finding evidence about ancient wet environments that may have been favorable for microbial life on Mars.

In this year's parade, several astronauts, as well as six members of the Mars Science Laboratory program, will walk alongside the 18,000-pound Orion capsule and the Curiosity Rover models.

NASA has participated in six different inaugural parades highlighting such things as the Apollo 7 capsule and crew in 1969, a lunar rover in 1973, a model Space Shuttle in 2001, and a lunar rover in 2009.

For more information about Orion, visit:

For more information about the MSL rover, visit:

For more information about NASA programs, visit:

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