SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Off the shore of San Diego, Navy sailors are bringing the U.S. one step closer to the moon and, eventually, Mars.
NASA and the military agree that the first test of the Artemis II mission was a success.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be out in the water and doing what we do. It really ends up being a lot of fun, but it's a lot of work," said Liliana Villarreal, NASA recovery director.
This test was a simulation of what it will be like inside the capsule when it splashes down during the actual mission with people inside.
There were volunteer Navy pilots and sailors inside the capsule nicknamed Vader.
"You’re rocking around in the water. They said that it was a really cool experience," said Senior Chief Ryan Crider, U.S. Navy diver.
Ryan Crider is the Senior Chief leading the team of Navy divers responsible for recovering the capsule.
He’s been working on this project since the Artemis I mission, where a hot capsule splashed down just south of San Diego.
Then, the mission was to accomplish a safe splashdown and retrieve it with no one inside.
Now, it was to ensure the people inside were safe and healthy and could be picked up by helicopter.
The crew says the biggest challenge during the test foggy conditions.
"Weather is always a big issue. You never know what weather you’re going to work with," said Crider.
The next test will put the actual crew inside the capsule.
"We actually simulate a splashdown and go through the entire recovery of the crew. So the crew is trained. There is nothing better than doing this in the realistic environments that they will see. So, we will do this obviously out in the open ocean," he said.
Another test is scheduled for early 2024, but the mission is set for the end of 2024.