Orion deployment in orbit, illustration

Orion deployment in orbit, illustration

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Orion deployment in orbit. Illustration of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) deploying in Earth orbit after being launched on a rocket. The faring surrounding the MPCV during launch is shown detaching. The conical Orion spacecraft is around 5 metres in diameter. It was originally part of the cancelled Constellation program. Announced in May 2011, it is intended to carry a crew of four, with the first crewed launches in around 2021. The first test launch took place on 5 December 2014. This spacecraft design is intended to be used for future missions to the Moon, to an asteroid, and to Mars.

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