Stories tagged Orion orbiter

The Orion crew exploration vehicle: This artist's rendering of Orion crew exploration vehicle in lunar orbit. (Depicts obsolete configuration.) Image courtesy: Lockheed Martin Corp.
The Orion crew exploration vehicle: This artist's rendering of Orion crew exploration vehicle in lunar orbit. (Depicts obsolete configuration.) Image courtesy: Lockheed Martin Corp.
I was emailed this story today by a co-worker that had the subject line, "No Orion in 2013" which made me think something was going down with the constellation of Orion - but that's not it.

Officials at NASA announced yesterday that they have abandoned plans to get the Orion crew capsules, the replacement for the retiring U.S. space shuttles, into service by 2013. Officials site a lack of additional funds and technical issues as the cause. The original plan was to get the new launch systems in place by 2015, but since the shuttles are expected to retire in 2010, NASA was pushing to close the gap. They are now aiming for 2014. NASA will depend on Russian launch vehicles to get crews to the International Space Station in the interim.

Jun
08
2007

NASA's new ride: This artist's rendition shows what the new Orion orbiter and Ares rocket might look like when it takes astronauts and payloads into space. (Photo courtesy of NASA)
NASA's new ride: This artist's rendition shows what the new Orion orbiter and Ares rocket might look like when it takes astronauts and payloads into space. (Photo courtesy of NASA)
Good news!!! NASA announced today that its shuttle replacement timetable has been moved up. The new spacecraft should be ready by 2013, two years faster than earlier predicted. Readers of Science Buzz may remember the story posted back in March about a five-year gap in U.S. space access capabilities.

The current NASA schedule calls for 16 more shuttle flights through 2010. The new proposed spacecraft, Ares rockets and Orion Crew Exploratory Vehicle, will have a lot more carrying capacity than the current shuttle fleet. The Ares V that is proposed could carry five or six times the cargo of the current shuttles.