Earlier in the year, the current political administration sought to end our hope for manned exploration in the near term by canceling funding for the Constellation program. As the recent unveiling of the Orion crew module revealed this week, however, the program is alive and well, and still pursuing the dream of getting humans out there into the expanse of our stellar neighborhood.
According to some reports, missions involving the Orion spacecraft could begin as soon as 2016. While that might be an ambitious goal, it is certainly a good thing to see that the United State’s space program seems to be moving forward. After threatening to cut the program, President Obama then seemed to back pedal from that stance and encouraged NASA to continue forward. His outline suggested visiting an asteroid, and then proceeding to plan for a trip to Mars.
The design of the new craft seems to be a derivative of the Apollo capsules of the 60’s and early 70’s. This would make sense as this is a logical extension of the progress on technology of manned space flight. It would almost seem like the space shuttle was an aberration in the quest to explore space.
It would be an incredible moment personally if I could witness people on the moon again in my lifetime, let alone Mars.
- Test version of Orion spacecraft unveiled (cbc.ca)
- Test version of Nasa Orion craft built after being given new lease of life as Space Station docking vehicle (dailymail.co.uk)
- “Lockheed Martin Unveils Spacecraft Test Facility South Of Denver” and related posts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Lockheed Martin unveils spacecraft test facility (seattletimes.nwsource.com)