NASA has unlocked its latest manned capsule, Orion for a series of trials. The capsule is slated to go on a test flight in 2013.

Preparing for the D-day!

Preparing for the D-day!

Lockheed Martin
, the aerospace centre unveiled a prototype of the spacecraft, in addition to the state-of-the-art testing centre in Denver. Orion will undergo several tests beginning from navigation, ranging, and descent systems at Lockheed’s Space Operations Simulations Centre. 

The Orion was originally designed to launch atop NASA Ares 1 rocket act as a successor to NASA’s nearing retirement space shuttle fleet, however, in the recent times, Orion is being increasingly used as a escape ships for space station crews, especially now, when they’re planning for deep space exploration. Last Year, American President Barrack Obama cancelled NASA's moon-oriented Constellation program, which had the Ares I, and ordered for a change of plan that favors asteroid and Mars exploration.

The Orion spacecraft is gum-drop shaped, and has a diameter of 16.5 feet at its widest point. Its landing pattern is the same as NASA’s other capsules, i.e. splashing down in the ocean. 

Even as you read this, several tests including a recently concluded a launch abort test are being carried out on the Orion. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done before it takes off on its maiden test flight.

Image Courtesy: Fox News

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