Today the agency NASA declared its readiness
first module space shuttle Orion . That this ship will be used for the delivery of goods and cosmonauts to redirect to the moon's orbit an asteroid, and then - and to Mars. Orion will transport heavy launch vehicle Delta IV Heavy. It is worth noting that the first launch of a new carrier rocket with a new same module will take place in December this year. As NASA plans to send Orion at an altitude of about 6000 kilometers above the planet's surface, or higher.
Orion itself to replace a "Shuttle", as well as enable the delivery of goods and people to distant targets, including Mars
. The new spacecraft will be used also for the flight to the ISS, to deliver astronauts aboard the space station.
With regard to vehicle parameters, they are pretty impressive. Wikipedia tells us that "the diameter of the ship" Orion "- 5, 3 meters (16 feet 5), the mass of the ship - about 25 tons. The internal volume of "Orion" will be in 2, 5 times more than the internal volume of the ship "Apollo". The volume of the cabin of the ship Orion (MPCV) about 9 m³. And this is not the total amount of the sealed structure, namely space free from equipment, computers, chairs and other "stuffing».
Specialists gave Orion-in conical shape, because it - the safest and most reliable form of the ship when it returned to Earth with the planned rate of up to 32 thousand kilometers per hour. Wherein the surface of the ship must heat up to 2, 2 thousand degrees Celsius.
Test flight - the third test of the new ship. The first test was conducted in February, while experts checked the performance of systems, second - last month
, tested interoperability ship with water, as well as performance of the installed equipment.
By 2018, NASA plans to test and launch has a new launcher, Space Launch System (SLS), with the Orion-st.
It should be noted that NASA is acting as a customer building Orion, the project carried out by the artist, now Lockheed Martin.