20 Mar 2012

The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) sits a-top a Delta IV Heavy, ready for a test flight, one of the first ever to reach this deep into space since the Apollo missions of 1972.  The year of the test is 2014.  The video below breaks down the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) from launch until splashdown.

We have a real need for such space craft right now, especially in the even of an asteroid threat, but unfortunately, as always, budget constraints keep pushing the future of the space program and exploration into the future.  Hopefully 2014 will at least be the year of the test.  See the simulation of the test in the video below.  

The Orion crew vehicle designs originated in the now-cancelled Constellation program that began in 2005 as the "Crew Exploration Vehicle".  Each capsule is to hold 4 astronauts.

         Credit: Nasa.gov
Credit: Nasa.gov

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