Orion Block-1A [NASA]
Project Constellation's Orion (formely CEV - Crewed Exploration Vehicle) was to be a crewed spacecraft for low earth orbit missions to ISS, missions to the moon and eventually to Mars.
CEV was be a capsule design, which inherited its shape from the Apollo capsule, but will otherwise a completly new construction. It was to launched on a Ares-1 launcher derived from Space Shuttle technology. In contrast to Apollo, landing was to be on land, assisted by air-bags or retro-rockets.
Originally, three versions were planned:
In February 2010, the development of the Ares-1 launch vehicle was cancelled and the development of Orion was reduced to a lifeboat for the ISS.
After the Constellation was cancelled, the Orion 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.
In late 2012 a cooperation with ESA was initiated. Under this project a new Orion-MPCV with European service module will be developed.
|Type / Application:||Crewed spacecraft|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Orion 1||-||2017||CCK LC-39B||SLS (Block 1) iCPS||→ Orion-MPCV 1|
|Orion 2||-||2018||CCK LC-39B||SLS (Block 1) iCPS||→ Orion-MPCV 2|