NASA’s new spaceship, Orion, is coming together for the September 2014 unmanned test launch. The Orion space capsule gives people the possibility to travel further into the space and explore distant planets.
The first elements for NASA’s new space craft have been already assembled and it looks like Orion is starting to take form. Scientists estimate that the space capsule will soon be ready for its unmanned mission which was scheduled to take place in September 2014. Once the shuttle will be tested, NASA will use it to send astronauts further into space, analyzing planets and asteroids that haven’t been studied so far.
Orion is the first spaceship that NASA built since its first shuttle in 1970. Thanks to it, the space agency will outsource travels to low-Earth orbit, to the International Space Station, as well as the private space sector. Even though September 2014 seems like a distant date, Orion program manager Mark Geyer thinks the launch is an important goal for NASA.
The modern spaceship was initially created under NASA’s Constellation program and was supposed to be named Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle. The Obama administration cancelled the program, but scientists carried their work further and they have, thus, set the grounds for Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Engineers are glad the launching date is getting closer even though their project has suffered various modifications due to political decisions.
Geyer confessed that engineers were often disappointed by politicians’ lack of interest towards their project. “It’s hard to put in 80 hours a week and then have somebody go, ‘I don’t want to do that anymore’,” Geyer stated. These changes occurred two years ago, but researchers think they are now getting closer to fulfilling their goal.
The first test that will be made in September 2014 is called Exploration Flight Test 1 and is meant to test half the systems that will be included in the finished version of the space capsule. The heat shield and the ablative coating will be closely watched as these systems have been recently added on the spaceship. Orion will be carried by a Delta 4 heavy rocket during its first space travel. Its first mission, Exploration Mission 1, is settled for 2017, whereas NASA estimates that the capsule will be able to carry humans in space around 2021.