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Orion ship. Instruments and vehicles

Orion ship. Instruments and vehicles

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The Orion spacecraft is a capsule created by NASA in order to be able to take astronauts on a manned mission to Mars someday. Carried out in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), it has already made a first unmanned test flight on December 5, 2014.

This flight was intended to test the operation of the basic systems of the capsule, especially its thermal shield. After making two orbits to Earth, the capsule returned to the atmosphere at 84 percent of the escape velocity, a velocity greater than the normal orbital.

The Orion capsule vaguely recalls the Apollo ships that took the man to the Moon in the 60s and 70s. In the case of the Orion it is a much larger ship, and logically its systems are much more advanced.

NASA planned its first manned test flight with the Orion capsule for August 2021. Problems in the ship's hardware and software, as well as the budgetary restrictions of the US space agency, have delayed this flight until 2023.

The capsule, along with its SLS heavy launcher, are the most expensive parts of this human space exploration project, which could be accomplished with the manned landing on Mars in the mid-2030s. There is a previous project of a second flight not manned scheduled for December 2018.

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