NASA showed off two of its recent achievements designed to power our collective journey beyond the boundaries of Earth and political fanfare.
Lockheed Martin has been hard at work getting the Orion space capsule ready for its first unmanned launch, scheduled for sometime in 2014. The first manned launch was supposed to happen two years later, but it's now been pushed back, dragging manned deep-space exploration along with it.
We've been hearing rather a lot about NASA's new Space Launch System and Orion capsule, which will (hopefully) take us humans to comets, asteroids, and Mars. It all has to start somewhere, though, and NASA has just announced plans for Orion's first mission.
Yesterday, we brought you up to date on the new Orion spacecraft, which is designed to take manned spaceflight into the next few decades. Lockheed Martin has big plans for their capsule, and wants to use it to send humans to asteroids, the moon, and ultimately Mars.
Just as the Shuttle program is winding down, NASA has been busy putting together the pieces for the just unveiled Orion space capsule. Part of the new gear includes some nifty new space suits, which they've recently been testing in Antarctica.
The funding to send astronauts to the moon on NASA's new Orion space capsule may have been axed, but it's good for lots of other stuff, from ISS transport flights to deep-space adventures. Lockheed Martin has just unveiled the very first Orion spaceship, along with a fancy new simulation center to test it out in.
With the Space Shuttle program winding down, NASA is busy finding new equipment that can do the work of the shuttle, and that includes the Orion escape module. While it has performed well in tests, Orion doesn't exactly give its passengers the softest landing, so MIT graduate student Sydney Do has developed an clever system to cushion the impact.
Zero to 60? Try zero to 600. If you think a ride up into orbit would be intense, aborting one would be even more so. That's because NASA is making sure that its Orion crew module, which would blast off...
For the first time since the 1960s, NASA is testing a spacecraft in the water, seeing how seaworthy it is after a splashdown. It looks a lot like the Apollo spacecraft from years ago, but this Orion capsule is bigger...
Come along with NASA as the space agency regresses back to the space capsule era, starring Orion, which you see here. Sitting outside the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, the mockup is on its way...