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Orion (MPCV)

Orion-MPCV [ESA]

Orion MPCV (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle) is planned manned spacecraft for missions to the moon, asteroids and eventually to Mars.

MPCV ia a capsule design, which inherits its shape from the Apollo capsule, but is otherwise a completly new construction. It was to launched on a Ares-1 launcher derived from Space Shuttle technology. In contrast to Apollo, landing will be on land, assisted by air-bags or retro-rockets.

After the Constellation was cancelled, the Orion CEV capsule was renamed Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). It will serve as a vehicle for lunar and interplanetary missions. The LEO missions to ISS will instead be flown on commercial vehicles.

An unmanned testflight of a Orion capsule without service module called Orion-EFT 1 launched by a Delta-4H rocket was launched in December 2014.

In late 2012 ESA joined the project and will provide a service module for Orion based on the ATV service module. The OME main engine for the first three missions are Aerojet AJ10-190 (OMS) engines left over from the Shuttle. Later missions will feature a different engine, possibly with green propellants.

The first Orion MPCV capsule will be launched in 2020 on a SLS (Block 1) rocket. The second will follow in 202ies on an improved SLS (Block 1B) EUS rocket on missions to lunar orbit. The first one will be unmanned, the second one will carry four astronauts.

Later, Orion MPCV will perform lunar and interplanetary missions.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Manned spacecraft
Operator: NASA, ESA
Contractors: Lockheed Martin (prime, capsule); EADS Astrium → Airbus Defence and Space (service module)
Propulsion: OME (AJ10-190), 8 × R-4D-11-300
Power: 4 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 180 days
Mass: 25848 kg (total); 10387 kg (capsule); 15461 kg (service modulke)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Orion EM1 - 2020 CCK LC-39B SLS (Block 1) iCPS with BioSentinel, CuSP, LunaH-Map, Lunar-Flashlight, Lunar-IceCube, NEA-Scout, SkyFire, EQUULEUS, OMOTENASHI, ArgoMoon, Cislunar Explorer A, Cislunar Explorer B, CU-E3, Miles
Orion EM2 - 2021 CCK LC-39B SLS (Block 1) iCPS
Further Orion (CEV) missions: