Mars mission astronauts rehearse water landings off Texas

In this Thursday, July 13, 2017 photo, NASA astronaut Victor Glover signals back up to astronaut Daniel Burbank that he is OK after jumping into the Gulf of Mexico from the Orion capsule the astronauts are using to practice an emergency egress situation during recovery testing about four miles off of Galveston Island, Texas. The testing is the first time since the Apollo program that NASA has practiced such egress techniques from a capsule in open water. (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

NASA astronauts training for a possible mission to Mars have been practicing water maneuvers in a mock-up Orion space capsule in the Gulf of Mexico

GALVESTON, Texas — NASA astronauts training for a possible mission to Mars have been practicing water maneuvers in a mock-up Orion space capsule in the Gulf of Mexico.

Several astronauts trained Thursday in the open water, about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from Galveston, Texas.

An Orion spacecraft is being prepared at Johnson Space Center in nearby Houston. It is intended for flight with NASA's new SLS or Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket the agency says it has ever built.

The astronauts wore bright orange training uniforms as they trained for a possible water landing, jumping into the water, using flotation devices and deploying a life raft.

Coast Guard and other NASA and military safety personnel were positioned nearby.

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