orion

The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) is a class of partially reusable spacecraft used in NASA's human spaceflight programs. Consisting two components – a Crew Module (CM) manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and a European Service Module (ESM) manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space – the spacecraft are designed to support crewed exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Orion is equipped with solar power, an automated docking system, and glass cockpit interfaces modeled after those used in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and can support a crew of six up to 21 days undocked and up to six months docked. A single AJ10 engine provides the spacecraft's primary propulsion, while eight R-4D-11 engines and six pods of custom reaction control system engines developed by Airbus provide the spacecraft's secondary propulsion. Although compatible with other launch vehicles, Orion is primarily designed to launch atop a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, with a tower launch escape system.
Orion was conceived by Lockheed Martin as a proposal for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to be used in NASA's Constellation program. Lockheed Martin's proposal defeated a competing proposal by Northrop Grumman, and was selected by NASA in 2006 to be the CEV. Originally designed with a service module featuring a new "Orion Main Engine" and a pair of circular solar panels, the spacecraft was to be launched atop the Ares I rocket with the Max Launch Abort System equipped. Following the cancellation of the Constellation program in 2010, Orion was heavily redesigned for use in NASA's Journey to Mars initiative; later named Moon to Mars. The SLS replaced the Ares I as Orion's primary launch vehicle, and the service module was replaced with a design based on the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle. A development test article of Orion's CM was launched in 2014 during Exploration Flight Test-1. As of 2019, two Orion spacecraft are under construction, with an additional two ordered, for use in NASA's Artemis program – the first of these is due to be launched in 2020 during Artemis 1.

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