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Local crew aboard Navy ship help NASA with capsule recovery

Posted at 12:04 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 15:13:51-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – In the dark, crews aboard the USS John Murtha simulated what it would be like to recover the Orion capsule.

It's described as a complex process that involves a lot of preparation and the right type of ship and equipment.

"We flood the bottom of the well deck of the ship. It's kind of like a swimming pool," Melisa Jones, with the NASA recovery team, said. "And we flood and tow the capsule in and set it down on the cradle."

This mock capsule weighs in at 18,000 pounds. Jones said the real one will be at least 22,000 pounds.

Commanding Officer of the USS John Murtha, Capt. Gervy Alota said the two-day recovery simulation was a great experience for his crew as they were able to be part of history.

"We've been working really hard in the Navy," he said. "We do a lot of missions, but for the crew to have the opportunity to do something with NASA for our country, it's a true blessing for them."

NASA Officials said the USS Murtha had been tasked to participate in the recovery efforts next year as long as it works in terms of missions and schedules.