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Orion (MPCV)

Orion-MPCV [ESA]

Orion MPCV (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle) is planned crewed 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, the uncrewed EM-1 mission, will be launched in 2020 on a SLS (Block 1) rocket. In March 2019 NASA announced, that they are considering launching the EM-1 missions on two commercial launch vehicles (Falcon-Heavy (Block 5)) instead, with one launcher orbiting the Orion capsule and the other the transfer stage.

The second will follow in 2022 on a SLS (Block 1) iCPS rocket on a mission to lunar orbit, carrying four astronauts.

In September 2019, NASA commited in ordering 6 Orion capsules at minimum with an option of six more. The first three were oredered directly, three more will be ordered in 2022.

Later, Orion MPCV will perform lunar and interplanetary missions using the improved SLS (Block 1B) EUS launch vehicle.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Crewed 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 Artemis-1 (EM-1) - 2022 CCK LC-39B SLS (Block 1) iCPS with BioSentinel, CuSP, LunaH-Map, Lunar-Flashlight, Lunar-IceCube, NEA-Scout, LunIR, EQUULEUS, OMOTENASHI, ArgoMoon, Cislunar Explorer A, Cislunar Explorer B, CU-E3, Miles
Orion Artemis-2 (EM-2) - 2023 CCK LC-39B SLS (Block 1) iCPS
Orion Artemis-3 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-4 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-5 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-6 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-7 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-8 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-9 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-10 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-11 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-12 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-13 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Orion Artemis-14 - 20xx CCK LC-39B SLS (Block-1B) EUS
Further Orion (CEV) missions:
Further Artemis missions: