Meet NASA’s Orion, the spaceship that will take us to Mars

Meet NASA’s Orion, the spaceship that will take us to Mars

The Orion capsule, a deep-space exploration spacecraft that NASA has been developing with Lockheed Martin, will usher in a new era of space exploration.

Orion will make its first unmanned test launch in 2020 atop the massive Space Launch System.  In 2023, the next mission will carry astronauts far behind the moon’s dark side, making two close passes of its surface. In the future, Orion will likely take us back to the Moon, to Mars and even into the outer solar system.

Discussing Orion, Rob Chambers, the director of human spaceflight strategy for Lockheed Martin, said, “We are very confident the inner solar system is going to be a vibrant place by the time NASA turns 100.”

That’s thanks to Orion.

Here’s a preview of Orion’s maiden voyage, Exploration Mission 1, which will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.

Meet the Orion

The Orion is a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle that is intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations beyond low Earth orbit. Along with the Space Launch System, it’s just one piece of a larger strategy by NASA to establish a permanent Lunar Outpost from which to explore deep space.

Click here to learn more about the Moon to Mars mission

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