Altair and Orion spacecraft at the Moon, illustration

Altair and Orion spacecraft at the Moon, illustration

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Altair and Orion spacecraft at the Moon. Illustration of a planned mission to the Moon, with the ascent stage of the Altair lunar lander (right) docking with the Orion spacecraft (left) in orbit around the Moon. The Orion spacecraft can be crewed by four astronauts. Developed by NASA, with a test flight taking place in 2014, the first Orion crewed launches are scheduled for around 2023. The Orion spacecraft are intended for use in Earth orbit, and for human exploration of the Moon, the asteroids and of Mars. The plans for the Altair lunar lander were cancelled in 2010. Artwork published in 2009.

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