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NASA's new deep-space exploration vehicle

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  • NASA's new deep-space exploration vehicle

    Originally posted by USA Today
    NASA sticks with Orion capsule for deep-space travel

    WASHINGTON — NASA's capsule for deep-space travel will be based on the Orion vehicle that had been part of the canceled Constellation return-to-the-moon program, the agency's top official said Tuesday.
    • By Craig Fritz, AP
      The Orion capsule is shown during a test in May 2010 at White Sands Missile

    By Craig Fritz, AP
    The Orion capsule is shown during a test in May 2010 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

    Administrator Charles Bolden said Lockheed Martin will continue to develop the capsule, now called the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.
    "As we aggressively continue our work on a heavy-lift launch vehicle, we are moving forward with an existing contract to keep development of our new crew vehicle on track," Bolden said.
    The capsule will have 316 cubic feet of habitable space to carry four astronauts on 21-day missions. It will be able to land in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.
    President Barack Obama abandoned the Constellation program in early 2009 after an independent study group found its goals underfunded and unrealistic.
    Obama set a new goal: landing on an asteroid by 2025 and on Mars by 2035, using a new rocket and a new capsule.
    Members of Congress were reluctant to give up on the Orion capsule, or on Constellation's Ares rocket, even although NASA officials said few changes would be needed for Orion to comply with the new policy.
    Douglas Cooke, NASA's associate administrator for exploration, said Orion's government and industry team found ways to keep costs down through better management and innovation.
    "This selection does not indicate a business-as-usual mentality for NASA programs," Cooke said.
    Click article title for source.
    [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
    -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]