Orion spacecraft in orbit, illustration

Orion spacecraft in orbit, illustration

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Credit: ESA-D. Ducros/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Orion spacecraft in orbit. Computer illustration of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) in Earth orbit. This spacecraft is intended to be used for future manned missions to the Moon, asteroids, and to Mars. It consists of two main modules, the crew capsule (conical, upper centre-right) and the service module (cylindrical, centre). 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 5th December 2014.

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