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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.

Currently an unmanned testflight of a Orion capsule without service module called Orion-EFT 1 launched by a Delta-4H rocket as early as 2014 is planned.

In late 2012 ESA joint the project and will provide a service module for Orion based on the ATV service module. The OME main engine is based on the Shuttle's OMS (AJ10-190) and is provided by Aerojet.

Orion MPCV capsules will be launched in 2019 and 2021 on SLS (Block 1) rockets 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
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Orion EM1 - 2019 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 1B) EUS
Further Orion (CEV) missions: