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Orion Crew Exploratin Vehicle - Image courtesy NASA

Orion Logo - Image courtesy collectSPACE.com
Project Orion will land Americans back on the moon by 2020

NASA made officially announced the name of its moon vehicle yesterday -- a week ahead of schedule. The reason for the early reveal was because an American astronaut on the international space station let the name slip over an open radio channel. "We've been calling it the crew exploration vehicle for several years, but today it has a name... Orion," said astronaut Jeffrey Williams. NASA officials denied the Orion name shortly after the leak, but later confirmed the name.

It should be noted that the name "Orion" will be the official project name for NASA's missions to the international space station and to the moon. Orion will also be the name of the four-man crew exploration vehicle (reminiscent of the old Apollo capsule). The Orion capsule is 16.5 feet in diameter and has a mass of 25 tons. It also has 2.5 the internal volume of the old Apollo capsules.

"Many of its stars have been used for navigation and guided explorers to new worlds for centuries. Our team, and all of NASA - and, I believe, our country - grows more excited with every step forward this program takes. The future for space exploration is coming quickly," said Orion Project Manager Skip Hatfield.

Orion will succeed the space shuttle as NASA's primary astronaut ferry and its first flight will take place before 2014. Orion's first trip to the moon should take place no later than 2020. If Orion does touchdown on the moon by 2020, it would represent a 50 year spread since the first time an American stepped foot on our nearest neighbor in space.



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RE: Back?
By imaheadcase on 8/24/2006 1:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct.

The moon missions is just a way to get public opinion back in favor of nasa. Going to the moon does NOTHING but to say "i've been there again".

The whole idea of traveling in space is to explore or learn. This is just like the Space Station, it was all public relation's with other countries. They are complete wastes of money.

Want to know the sad part? China and India are actully doing the BEST space stuff currently and in the future. They plan to actully do stuff americans should of been doing long ago, colonize, explore, and mine.

Its actully a disgraceful thing the way NASA is doing business.


RE: Back?
By boobot on 8/24/2006 3:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
This is just the first path to our planned trip to Mars. It is a baby step and allows us to use all of the new technologies. So NO it's not just a public opinion job


RE: Back?
By imaheadcase on 8/24/2006 5:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it is a public opinion job, they are spending 3x more to go to the moon again. 3x the budget one would think they would make a purpose out of it than to say "yeah, we did it again".


RE: Back?
By Tsuwamono on 8/25/2006 12:44:43 AM , Rating: 1
1. Inflation, so you cant say its 3x more

2. They are doing it as practice for Mars missions. Lets not forget that in 2000 before the accident with the shuttle NASA had planed to start a series of launches for MARS in 2008. Starting with an unmaned one which would contain robots programed to inflate a small presurized facility and mine for minerals used for making rocket fuel. 3 Months later NASA would send actual Astronauts to stay there for a 1-2 month period(i forget which or if its even more) and then come home.

We need to make these steps to get to Mars. And since we might actually be able to use the moon as a steping stone, to me it seems like a good idea to start there.


RE: Back?
By rushfan2006 on 8/25/2006 8:39:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
TextYes it is a public opinion job, they are spending 3x more to go to the moon again. 3x the budget one would think they would make a purpose out of it than to say "yeah, we did it again".


No I believe it is YOUR OPINION that its just a public opinion job. Meanwhile if you thought it about some more and actually read the research a little bit into the project at large and NASA's future endeavors it's much more sensical and common sense even to assume you don't just "up and go" to a destination like Mars merely to appease people on Internet forums who haven't a speck of of the training and/or experience that those working at NASA have.

I'd think you'd want to test out your equipment a bit on more familiar "routine" (though nothing is really routine in such dangerous circumstances) trips. Not only that but testing out the pesonnel as well -- call it a field test if you will.

I have to believe the way you folks on these forums make it sound so simple and easy --- I bet if some NASA engineer that has poured his heart and soul into such far flung goals as the Mars for decades of his career read this stuff he'd be insulted by how folks such complex things down to such minial like tasks. "Oh come on already NASA its so easy to go to Mars do it already geez!"......

Go back to watching your sci-fi movies and reading your comic books...leave the NASA stuff to the big boys who know what the hell they are doing...albeit perhaps a little slower than we'd all like to see it done (including myself).



RE: Back?
By stromgald on 8/24/2006 4:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
There is water on the Moon. Using solar energy, water can be easily split into Hydrogen and Oxygen, which our most efficient bipropllant rockets run on. If done correctly, the moon can be a refueling station before the trip to Mars, which means smaller tanks, which leads to less weight, which leads to lower cost to get everything in orbit. Unfortunately, due to the schedule Bush put out, NASA has axed the idea of stopping by the moon for refueling before going to Mars . . . at least the first time around.


RE: Back?
By jon1003 on 8/24/2006 5:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
This is not political, but:

The @$*$'ed up thing is having ANY politician who knows little to nothing about science and technology making these decisions about timelines and exactly how scientists should get to mars.


RE: Back?
By TheDoc9 on 8/25/2006 4:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it's because the cost doesn't justify doing it. Just a ballpark figure here, but a station on the moon would probably cost 500 BILLION dollars or more. It's called pork, and it has to be cut from the budget.


RE: Back?
By Wwhat on 8/26/2006 1:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Want to place a bet that NASA will fail to get to the moon this time? Let alone do something as ambitious as setting up plants, this is reality not a tv show and things are not as simple as all that.



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