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Orion ! – Lunar Missions


Orion is key to lunar missions
Whittington 11 (Mark, author of The Last Moonwalker, contributes articles to major newspapers, 5/25/11, http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110525/sc_ac/8534339_nasas_mpcv_inadequate_for_asteroid_mars_mission_ideal_for_lunar_missions) JPG

There are a variety of deep space missions that an MPCV, presumably launched on the heavy lift vehicle that is also envisioned. One could fly to one of the Lagrange points where the gravity of the Earth and the moon cancel one another out. One could use a MPCV to fly an Apollo 8 style mission in lunar orbit. And, of course, along with a landing module, an MPCV could take astronauts to the lunar surface. A 21-day mission would just be enough for a one week lunar stay that was planned for the initial expeditions under Constellation. NASA is forced to serve at least two masters, the Obama administration and the Congress, which have different ideas about how the course of future space exploration should go forward. President Obama was quite clear just over a year ago about how much he disdained going back to the moon. On the other hand, Congress has been increasingly clear that it regards a return to the moon as an imperative to any program of deep space exploration.

Orion ! – Deep Space


MPCV is key to deep space flight
ScienceRay 11 (6/16/11, http://scienceray.com/technology/nasa-announced-the-spaceship-mpcv-for-mars-missions/) JPG

The space agency NASA announced its plan to develop a new spacecraft for interplanetary missions. Based on the novelty will be shown before the capsule Orion, was originally designed to fly to the moon. Now based on the Orion platform will create a “multi-purpose ship manned» MPCV (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle). According to the director of NASA, Charles Bolden, Orion was part of the canceled program Constellation, designed for lunar exploration. Last year Barack Obama turned the program Constellation, instead of what space agencies were encouraged to undertake exploration of Mars and the asteroids in the solar system. This program is more ambitious and complex than the moon, but experts say it is better meets the strategic objectives of space development. Now NASA plans to send about 2025 a group of astronauts to an asteroid, but by 2030 – to land a manned vehicle with a crew on Mars. Agency officials say they modified capsule Orion can do it, and also use an existing platform can reduce the cost of development.




Orion ! – Asteroid/Mars


Orion is key to asteroid and Mars missions
Wall 11 (Mike, writer @ Space.com, 5/26/11, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43156476/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/nasa-unveils-retooled-vehicle-deep-space-flights/) JPG

NASA on Tuesday announced a plan to develop a new deep-space vehicle, one based on an earlier capsule concept, in order to send astronauts on expeditions to an asteroid and then on to Mars. The spaceship, known as the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, or MPCV, will be based on designs originally planned for the Orion spacecraft, NASA officials announced Tuesday. Orion was part of NASA's now-canceled Constellation program, which aimed to return astronauts to the moon by the 2020s. [Photos: NASA's MPCV for Deep Space Flights] President Barack Obama shut down the Constellation program last year, tasking NASA instead with sending people to an asteroid by 2025, and then to aim for crewed Mars missions by the 2030s. Modifying the Orion capsule design — rather than drawing up plans for an entirely new spaceship — should help make that feasible, agency officials said. "We made this choice based on the progress that's been made to date," Doug Cooke, associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate in Washington, told reporters Tuesday. "It made the most sense to stick with it [the Orion design]." Meet the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Lockheed Martin Corp., NASA's prime contractor for Orion, will continue work to develop the MPCV spacecraft. So far, NASA has invested a little more than $5 billion in the spaceship, which is pretty far along, Cooke said. Lockheed has already built a full-size mock-up vehicle, called a Ground Test Article, and will soon subject it to a series of rigorous trials at a facility in Colorado. The gumdrop-shaped MPCV is about 16.5 feet (5 meters) wide at its base and weighs about 23 tons. The space capsule will have a pressurized volume of 690 cubic feet (20 cubic meters), with 316 cubic feet (9 cubic meters) of habitable space, according to an official description. It's designed to carry four astronauts at a time and return to Earth with splashdowns in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. The spacecraft will be NASA's primary vehicle for delivering astronauts to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, such as asteroids or Mars. Such journeys would take months, and the four astronauts won't be cooped up in the cramped MPCV the entire time. Rather, the capsule will meet up with some type of habitation module in space, making the trip much more comfortable.

Orion ! – Space Leadership/Deep Space


Orion is key to space leadership and deep space exploration
Cerkas 11 (Michael, writer @ huliq, 5/25/11, http://www.huliq.com/10128/bold-us-quest-manned-space-flight-reborn-nasa-orion) JPG

Effectively grounded by President Obama’s decision last year to cut funding for the Constellation Program, NASA has inhaled a breath of fresh air with its recent announcement of the Orion Program. The aging Space Shuttle fleet which is currently in the process of being retired, initially saw no successor and introduced doubt in the minds of Americans regarding the resolve and future of manned space flight to explore the heavens. The Orion spacecraft, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, will feature the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, or MPCV, and has been described by former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin as “Apollo on Steroids”, is a vastly superior and capable spacecraft that will successfully and effectively address the Obama Administration’s “flexible path” toward deep space exploration. The Orion MPCV spacecraft is a solar-powered craft, designed to carry four astronauts on missions lasting up to three weeks; or much longer when accompanied by a larger interplanetary habitation module. The MPCV will weigh approximately 23 tons at launch and support a pressurized cabin of 690 cubic feet. A tentative timeline for the introduction of Orion will begin with a planned test flight in 2013, with the first manned space flight anticipated in 2016. Read details about the Orion Spacecraft from NASA here. It has been estimated that the Orion design will effectively be 10 times as safe as the Space Shuttle.





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