Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We're going to Mars in *this*?

U.S. unveils Orion spacecraft to take crew to Mars

"We're just very proud to build this, do some testing and demonstrate to America that we're moving beyond the space shuttle onto another generation of spacecraft," said Don Pearson, project manager for the Post-Landing Orion Recovery Test or PORT.

NASA plans to use Orion to carry astronauts to the International Space Station by 2015. The capsule will rotate the crew at the station every six months "to work out the kinks" before heading to the moon and Mars, Pearson said.

Trips to the moon are scheduled for 2020, while a journey to Mars is believed possible by the mid-2030s.


Nergal said...

I suspect that the entire mars package will include more than just the reentry vehicle ;) I'll have to admit that the hardware is pretty uninspiring aesthetically. I suspect we'll grow to like it more if we actually get to do something interesting with it. Near earth asteroid missions, lunar missions, etc should let it prove that there's beauty in functionality.

Either way I think we're looking at the last man-rated spacecraft nasa will develop. The private sector is rapidly advancing technology for this sort of thing on a commercial basis, and our generation of billionaires that grew up on star trek are rich enough to fund their own space program, guided by whatever goals they see fit, and not mitigated by the vagaries of politics.

Anonymous said...

NASA is a fucking joke...seriously. Please excuse the hard language but this agency simply has no vision. The older I get the greater my disdain for NASA becomes.

I sincerely hope someone beats them to Mars.

- Denny

purrlgurrl said...

This just looks like a lander or re-entry module. This can't possibly be the entire Orion spacecraft. I think Reuters might have slipped on the facts.

Mac said...


I sincerely hope someone beats them to Mars.

I could very well be wrong, but I have the feeling someone very well might. 2035 is a *long* way away; there's plenty of time for private ventures to take up the challenge and stick it to The Man.


Nope, no mix-up. This is apparently the best NASA can do. Talk about reinventing the wheel.

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