NASA Testing the Orion Spacecraft Crew Module Mockup

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 11, 2009 in Science

It’s funny I’ve been watching the space shuttle for so many years that when I see a design like this it brings me back to my early childhood of watching the Apollo projects — it’s been that long since I’ve seen a spacecraft that was designed to leave Earth’s orbit. NASA is still awaiting the hear from the Obama administration to find out who the next leader of the space program will be, so it’s questionable if Orion will become real (although the administration seems to be motivated to return to the moon thanks to China).

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Shuttle Replacement Orion Starts to Take Shape, but the Future is Uncertain

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 31, 2009 in Science

A replica of the launch abort system for the Ares 1X is taken off an Air Force C-5A Galaxy aircraft on Wednesday at the shuttle landing facility at Kennedy Space Center. The mock-up will be used in a July 11 test flight. (Michael R. Brown, FLORIDA TODAY)

Lacking a new administrator NASA’s next direction seems a bit uncertain — and part of the problem with the previous administrator was that the Orion Vehicle project which was suppose to replace the space shuttle which ran way over budget. This past week a mockup of part of the new system arrived at the Kennedy Space Center with the hope that NASA can put together a test launch by July. While it’s certain that President Obama wants to return to the moon his immediate focus at the White House has been on trying to rescue the economy, although the space exploration fanboy in me hopes he gives NASA some leadership sooner than later.

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Apollo Design Déjà vu: Orion Exploration Vehicle

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 31, 2008 in Science

New NASA capsule Orion resembles Apollo

It’s great to see some physical evidence of progress with the Orion Exploration Vehicle, but it’s depressing to me to think that it will take until 2020 to get to the moon — and 2030 to get to Mars:

New NASA capsule Orion resembles Apollo

“NASA rolled out its next-generation space capsule here Wednesday, revealing a bulbous module that is scheduled to carry humans back to the moon in 2020 and eventually onward to Mars. Unlike the space-plane shape of the shuttles, the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle looks strikingly similar to the old Apollo space capsule that carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon and back in 1969, with Armstrong and Aldrin becoming the first humans to walk on the lunar surface.”

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