7 years ago

NASA's Orion spacecraft prepares for first test launch in 2018

TomoNews US
TomoNews US
FLORIDA — The Orion space capsule, slated to eventually take humans to Mars, is getting finishing touches at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is slated for its first launch in 2018.

Five months ago, NASA technicians began the first assembly weld on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) spacecraft — not to be confused with its predecessor the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), which was developed in 2004.

The next Orion's pressure vessel — the part filled with air for astronauts — started out in seven pieces. Those pieces were fused into a single, gumdrop-shaped piece of hardware by mid-January.

The pressure vessel was then transported on Feb. 1 from the Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana to the Kennedy Space Center. It traveled on a Super Guppy cargo aircraft equipped with a cargo compartment that is 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide and 111 feet long and can carry more than 26 tons.

In Florida, the Orion will be equipped with subsystems, outer layers and a heat shield. It is slated to be launched to the moon unmanned in late 2018. The flight will test the spacecraft's structural integrity.

The Orion program was developed in 2004 as part of the Vision for Space Exploration plan set by then-President George W. Bush, which later developed into the Constellation program. The Constellation program aimed at human space travel. In 2009, the Obama administration deemed the program under budget and behind schedule. Consequently, the program was re-allocated.

The Orion CEV was renamed Orion MPCV. In 2014, an earlier version of Orion MPCV successfully launched into space and was received at sea. The launch brought NASA back into the business of designing manned spacecrafts.


Welcome to TomoNews, where we animate the most entertaining news on the internets. Come here for an animated look at viral headlines, US news, celebrity gossip, salacious scandals, dumb criminals and much more! Subscribe now for daily news animations that will knock your socks off.

Visit our official website for all the latest, uncensored videos: http://us.tomonews.net
Check out our Android app: http://bit.ly/1rddhCj
Check out our iOS app: http://bit.ly/1gO3z1f

Get top stories delivered to your inbox everyday: http://bit.ly/tomo-newsletter

Stay connected with us here:
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TomoNewsUS
Twitter @tomonewsus http://www.twitter.com/TomoNewsUS
Google+ http://plus.google.com/+TomoNewsUS/
Instagram @tomonewsus http://instagram.com/tomonewsus
See more about

Browse more videos

Browse more videos