[SatNews] "...demonstrated how private sector and governmental organizations can come together to help this country achieve this critical step on our journey to Mars."
On December 5, 2014, mission controllers and the public were able to see the re-entry and descent of NASA's Orion spacecraft in real time and observe the parachutes deploy and the capsule return to Earth toward the ocean surface in a controlled manner.
Global satellite operator SES Government Solutions (SES GS) provided the bandwidth for the Ikhana Unmanned Science and Research Aircraft, which provided the live HD video feed for NASA TV to broadcast this historic event. The video was streamed over a Ku-band satellite and transmitted back to the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center.
"This mission demonstrated how multiple private sector and governmental organizations can come together to help this country achieve this critical step on our journey to Mars," said SES GS President and CEO Tip Osterthaler. "We are proud to be part of this team by providing critical bandwidth and enabling the public to see the re-entry live on NASA TV."
Orion was launched at 7:05 a.m. EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida as part of an unmanned orbital test flight. The capsule landed at 11:29 a.m. EST about 500 miles outside of San Diego, California in the Pacific Ocean. NASA's Orion will send astronauts to deep space destinations during future missions.