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NASA Unveils the Orion Spacecraft

 

NASA has plans for the space exploration, despite the fact that the Shuttle program is over.  NASA's new spacecraft, the Orion, has just been unveiled during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Kennedy Space Center. Orion, in conjunction with the private industry SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, will ensure that NASA has its hands in space exploration for years to come.

The Orion photo above shows the different parts of the spacecraft. On top, a launch abort system is in place if the spacecraft needs to quickly separate from the rocket in case of emergency. The crew module is where the crew hangs out, and the service module has support equipment. It bears a striking resemblance to the old Apollo spacecraft that we used to get to the moon. This reflects NASA's new mission of single purpose, focused spacecraft, as opposed to the one-use-for-everything Space Shuttle.

According to SpaceFlightNow the plans are for a test flights in 2014 in 2017, followed by a flight with a crew of up to four astronauts in 2021.