Friday, April 20, 2007

Orion Contract Modified

Some major changes were made in the development program for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle today. Orion will supercede the Space Shuttle as America's manned spacecraft and allow missions beyond earth orbit.

The key changes are elimination of the pressurized unmanned cargo varient to service the ISS; addition of two more test launches to verify the launch abort system; and additon of two more years to the Orion design phase. The cargo version was dropped because NASA plans to purchase cargo services from commercial sources through it's COTS program. The design phase was extended mainly to synchronize delivery of the Orion with it's new Ares 1 launcher.

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