Reporters from the Houston and Galveston area, as well as other media representatives on the space beat who participated by telephone conference call, on Friday were briefed on the Orion spacecraft now being tested and built at NASA and Lockheed Martin facilities in Webster.
Orion Deputy Program Manager Larry Price explained that the Orion crew vehicle is primarily a module to support a crew for missions to the moon, Mars and the asteroids. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“The heart of the mission is the conical shaped capsule with the crew in it,” Price said. “The service module supports commodities for the duration of the mission, power and propulsion to get to and return from the celestial bodies that we are flying to and the large section in the front – the launch abort system – that affords us to safely separate ourselves from an errant launch vehicle or a problem on the pad.”
Price said life support and safety are prime ingredients.
“Clearly the most intriguing part of human spaceflight is taking care of the astronauts and the crew,” he said.
Price and Orion Communications Manager Linda Singleton escorted the reporters into the space where the capsule and flight simulators are being prepared.
A video of the Orion was provided. Click Here
Additional videos are available on the Orion websites:
Water Landing Test at Langley
VIMEO Link for Orion videos:
A New Era of Exploration Video:
Click hereor view on You Tube at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvalg9kBA9Y&feature=player_embedded