Tue, July 03, 2012
Technology > Science

NASA unwraps Orion capsule

2012-07-03 05:06:36 GMT2012-07-03 13:06:36(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Kennedy Space Center (KSC) director Robert Cabana said: "As KSC celebrates its 50th anniversary I can't think of a more appropriate way to celebrate than by having the very first Orion crew vehicle here.

The Orion's spacecraft olive-green aluminum-lithium metal panels are still to be covered by an advanced version of the thermal protection tiles that were earlier used on the space shuttle.

NASA's first space-bound Orion crew capsule on display in Kennedy Space Center's Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building in Florida, July 2, 2012.

NASA has unveiled its new "Orion" capsule, a ship that will define the new future of American manned space exploration, the NBC reports.

"It will travel farther into space than any spacecraft designed for humans has flown in the 40 years since our astronauts went to the moon," announced NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Carver.

The Orion team has an ambitious goal: An unmanned test flight in just two years, travel to an asteroid by the 2020s and a trip to Mars a decade later.

A long-range vision made possible in part by a new partnership with private companies to handle low earth orbit and service to the International Space Station.

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