Orion (spacecraft)

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Orion
Orion with ATV SM.jpg
An artist's picture of the Orion spacecraft
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Airbus
Country of originUnited States of America
OperatorNASA
ApplicationsBeyond LEO exploration[1]
Specifications
Spacecraft typeSpace capsule
Design life21 days, 2 hours and 24 minutes[2]
Launch massCapsule: 10,387 kilograms (22,899 pounds)
Service module: 15,461 kilograms (34,086 pounds)
Total: 25,848 kilograms (56,985 pounds)
Crew capacity2–6[3]
Dimensions3.3 by 5 metres (11 by 16 feet)
VolumePressurized: 19.56 kilometres (12.15 miles)[4]
Habitable: 8.95 m3 (316 cu ft)
Production
StatusIn production
Built3
Launched1
First launchExploration Flight Test 1
December 5, 2014
Last launchExploration Flight Test 1
December 5, 2014
Related spacecraft
Derived from

Orion is a spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin for NASA. Each Orion spacecraft will be able to carry up to six[3] astronauts. The Orion vehicle will be launched on the Space Launch System[5]. The first launch (Exploration Flight Test-1) was on the Delta IV Heavy.[6]

Orion will launch from Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center, the same launch site used by the Space Shuttle and the Saturn V. Orion is meant to take humans to the Moon and Mars.

History[change | change source]

The only launch of the Ares I, Ares I-X. This did not have an Orion spacecraft and did not go to orbit
An artist mockup of the Space Launch System

Orion was first made for the Constellation program in 2004, as the Orion CEV (Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle). It was meant to be launched on the Ares I rocket. Then it would be able to go to the International Space Station. It was also planned to go to a spacecraft launched in pieces on different Ares V rockets, and the spacecraft with the Orion would go to the Moon, Mars, or another place.

On October 11, 2010, Constellation was cancelled. They created a new program and a new rocket called the Space Launch System, and changed the name of Orion to the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. This rocket will launch Orion for going to the Moon in 2022 and the Mars in 2033.[7]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "NASA Authorization Act of 2010". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  2. Bergin, Chris (July 10, 2012). "NASA ESD set key Orion requirement based on Lunar missions". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Moskowitz, Clara (November 2014). "Deep Space or Bust". Scientific American 311 (6): 20. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1214-20. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nasa-to-launch-new-spacecraft/. 
  4. "Orion Quick facts" (PDF). NASA. August 4, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  5. "Preliminary Report Regarding NASA's Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle" (PDF). NASA. January 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  6. Fountain, Henry (December 5, 2014). "NASA's Orion Spacecraft Splashes Down in Pacific After Test Flight". New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  7. "NASA Moon and Mars". nasa.gov. Retrieved 2019-05-21.

Other websites[change | change source]