"The primary test objectives were, [first] to measure the performance of a two drogue parachute cluster with one drogue skipping the second of two reefing stages," NASA said on its Web site, and second, "to measure the performance of a two main parachute cluster with modified suspension line and riser lengths matching the Apollo configuration ratio. The test platform consisted of a pallet and weight tub and was extracted from a C-130 aircraft at 17,500 feet."
"The Orion MPCV is based on the Orion design requirements for traveling beyond low Earth orbit," NASA wrote on its Web site. "Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities."
During this test, the 22,700-pound BTA was traveling at about 24 miles per hour on impact with the water at the Hydro Impact Basin. The idea behind this test is to further "the knowledge and testing of space vehicle landing systems like the MPCV."