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Constellation Program - Ares, Orion & Altair


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#16    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 09:35 PM

NASA To Announce Contractor for Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

The user posted image media advisory is reproduced below:

Aug. 24, 2006
Michael Braukus/Beth Dickey
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1979/2087

Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111

MEDIA ADVISORY: M06-137

NASA Announces Contractor for Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle


NASA Exploration Systems' managers will host a press conference at 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 31, to announce the prime contractor to design, develop, and build Orion, America's next human spacecraft.

The press conference will be in the NASA headquarters auditorium, 300 E Street S.W., Washington. It will air live on the Web and on NASA TV. Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations. Reporters should coordinate with local agency centers by 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 30 for access information.

Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Scott Horowitz, Exploration Deputy Associate Administrator Doug Cooke, Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley, and CEV Project Manager Caris A. (Skip) Hatfield will announce the selection and discuss the program.

Orion is the vehicle NASA is developing to carry a new generation of explorers back to the moon and later to Mars. Orion will succeed the space shuttle as NASA's primary vehicle for human space exploration. Orion's first flight with astronauts aboard is planned for no later than 2014 to the International Space Station. Its first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:


For information about NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Source: NASA Press Release 06-299

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#17    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:14 PM

NASA to Name Orion Contractor Thursday

Lessons from the past are guiding NASA's next step into the future, as the space agency prepares to replace the space shuttle with an Apollo-style vehicle for human explorers.

The vehicle is Orion, named for one of the brightest and most recognizable star formations in the sky. It will be a multi-purpose capsule -- the central member of a family of spacecraft and shuttle-derived launchers that NASA's Constellation Program is developing to carry astronauts back to the moon and later to Mars. The first flight with astronauts aboard is planned for no later than 2014. Orion's first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020.

In what amounts to one of the most significant NASA procurements in more than 30 years, two industry teams have spent the past 13 months refining concepts, analyzing requirements and sketching designs for Orion. On Thursday, managers of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate will reveal which of the two teams has been chosen to build it.

user posted image
Image above: Artist's concept of the Orion capsule and service module.
Image credit: NASA


Versatility will be Orion's trademark. It is being designed to fly to the moon, but could also be used to service the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit. "Our intent is to keep the destination focusing the design but we are not excluding the possibility of using Orion for other things, such as de-orbiting the Hubble Space Telescope in the 2020s or making a trek to an asteroid," said Jeff Hanley, who manages the Constellation Program from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Orion improves on the best features of Project Apollo and the Space Shuttle Program, increasing the likelihood of success. "Going with known technology and known solutions lowers the risk" said Neil Woodward, director of the integration office in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Although Orion borrows its shape and aerodynamic performance from Apollo, the new capsule's updated computers, electronics, life support, propulsion and heat protection systems represent a marked improvement over legacy systems. We're pushing the technological edge, but only where it makes sense," says Woodward.

Unlike the winged space shuttle orbiter, which is mounted beside its external fuel tank and boosters for liftoff, Orion will be placed on top of its booster to protect it from ice, foam, and other launch system debris during ascent. Placing the spacecraft on top of the launch vehicle also allows the addition of an abort system that can separate capsule and crew from the booster in an emergency.

user posted image
Image above: Orion and a lunar lander head for the moon.
Artist's concept by John Frassanito and Associates.


Among the most obvious improvements is the command module's size. Measuring 16.5 feet in diameter, Orion will have more than 2.5 times the interior volume of the three-seat Apollo capsules that carried astronaut crews to the moon for missions lasting only several hours to several days in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Orion will be crucial for developing a sustained human presence on the moon. It will be able to carry four astronauts to the moon and support missions of up to six months.

"You don't get the chance to build a new human spacecraft every day," said Skip Hatfield, the Orion project manager in Houston. "This is a wonderful opportunity for NASA to learn from the things we've done in the past, take the best of those activities, and blend them together using the latest methods of manufacturing and management to make a system that will enable us to go out and explore beyond low-Earth orbit."

Hatfield and Hanley noted that NASA is leveraging the talent and resources of the entire agency in the design and development of Orion. While Constellation Program management resides at Johnson, all 10 of the agency's field centers are making important contributions.


Source: NASA - Constellation Program - Orion Crew Vehicle

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 30 August 2006 - 11:26 PM.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#18    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:24 PM

Orion Crew Vehicle

Future astronauts will ride into space in the Orion capsule, similar in design to the Apollo-era command module, but larger and more versatile, and capable of carrying six occupants -- twice as many as its predecessor.

user posted image
Image above: Artist's concept of a cargo
launch vehicle during the staging process.
Credit: NASA
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Orion will succeed the space shuttle as NASA's primary vehicle for human space exploration. Orion's first flight with astronauts onboard is planned for no later than 2014 to the International Space Station. Its first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020.

Orion is the primary payload of the Ares I rocket's 25-ton mission, designed to reach low-Earth orbit for rendezvous with the International Space Station or an Earth Departure Stage and lunar lander.

Orion will be capable of transporting cargo and up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station. It can carry four crewmembers for lunar missions. Later, it can support crew transfers for Mars missions.

Orion borrows its shape from space capsules of the past, but takes advantage of the latest technology in computers, electronics, life support, propulsion and heat protection systems. The capsule's conical shape is the safest and most reliable for re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, especially at the velocities required for a direct return from the moon.

Orion will be 16.5 feet in diameter and have a mass of about 25 tons. Inside, it will have more than 2.5 times the volume of an Apollo capsule. The spacecraft will return humans to the moon to stay for long periods as a testing ground for the longer journey to Mars.

NASA estimates the new launch systems will be 10 times safer than the shuttle because of an escape rocket on top of the capsule that can quickly blast the crew away if launch problems develop. There's also little chance of damage from launch vehicle debris, since the capsule sits on top of the rocket.

Launch Abort System

The escape rocket is part of a comprehensive launch abort system, being developed by NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and partner centers around the nation.

As with Apollo and earlier human spaceflight programs, an "escape tower" sits atop the crew capsule. In the event of a launch emergency, the tower's small motors are designed to ignite and quickly separate the crew module from the rocket. A series of parachutes then automatically deploys to lower the crew safely back to Earth.

Earth Reentry and Landing System

For return to Earth, Orion will be equipped with a system of parachutes, and active or passive shock absorbers designed to prevent potential risks during reentry and landing, and to enable astronauts to touch down on land.

user posted image
Image above: Artist's concept of re-entry
to Earth's atmosphere.
Credit: NASA
+ View large image


NASA expects advanced reentry and touchdown technologies now in development to minimize the forces the module and its occupants are subjected to prior to landing.


Source: NASA - Constellation Program - Orion Crew Vehicle

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#19    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:36 PM

Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle

NASA is already at work developing hardware and systems for the Ares I rocket that will send future astronauts into orbit. Built on cutting-edge launch technologies, evolved powerful Apollo and space shuttle propulsion elements, and decades of NASA spaceflight experience, Ares I is the essential core of a safe, reliable, cost-effective space transportation system -- one that will carry crewed missions back to the moon, on to Mars and out into the solar system.

Ares I is an in-line, two-stage rocket configuration topped by the Orion crew vehicle and its launch abort system. In addition to the vehicle's primary mission -- carrying crews of four to six astronauts to Earth orbit -- Ares I may also use its 25-ton payload capacity to deliver resources and supplies to the International Space Station, or to "park" payloads in orbit for retrieval by other spacecraft bound for the moon or other destinations.

user posted image
Image above: Expanded view of the Ares I.
Credit: NASA
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During launch, the first-stage booster powers the vehicle toward low Earth orbit. In mid-flight, the reusable booster separates and the upper stage's J-2X engine ignites, putting the vehicle into a circular orbit.

Crew transportation to the International Space Station is planned to begin no later than 2014. The first lunar excursion is scheduled for the 2020 timeframe.

Ares I First Stage

The Ares I first stage is a single, five-segment reusable solid rocket booster derived from the Space Shuttle Program's reusable solid rocket motor, which burns a specially formulated and shaped solid propellant.

user posted image
Image above: Artist concept of Ares I.
Credit: NASA
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A newly designed forward adapter will mate the vehicle's first stage to the upper stage, and will be equipped with booster separation motors to disconnect the stages during ascent.

Ares I Upper Stage / Upper Stage Engine

The Ares I second, or upper, stage is propelled by a J-2X main engine fueled with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

user posted image
Image at right: A J-2 engine undergoes static firing.
Credit: NASA
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The J-2X is an evolved variation of two historic predecessors: the powerful J-2 engine that propelled the Apollo-era Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets, and the J-2S, a simplified version of the J-2 developed and tested in the early 1970s but never flown.


Source: NASA - Constellation Program - Ares Launch Vehicles

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#20    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:58 PM

Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle

NASA is planning and designing hardware and propulsion systems for the Ares V cargo launch vehicle -- the "heavy lifter" of America's next-generation space fleet.

During launch, the Ares V first stage and core propulsion stage power it upward toward Earth orbit. After separation from the spent core stage, the upper stage -- also known as the Earth Departure Stage -- takes over, and by a J-2X engine puts the vehicle into a circular orbit.
The cargo vehicle's propulsion system can lift heavy structures and hardware to orbit or fire its engines for trans-lunar injection, a trajectory designed to intersect with the moon. Such lift capabilities will enable NASA to carry a variety of robust science and exploration payloads to space and could possibly take future crews to Mars and beyond.

The first crewed lunar excursion is scheduled to occur by 2020.

user posted image
Image above: Expanded view of the Ares V.
Credit: NASA
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Ares V First Stage

The first stage of the Ares V vehicle relies on two, five-segment reusable solid rocket boosters for lift-off.

user posted image
Image above: Artist concept of Ares V.
Credit: NASA
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Derived from the space shuttle solid rocket boosters, they are similar to the single booster that serves as the first stage for the cargo vehicle's sister craft, Ares I.

Ares V Core Stage / Core Stage Engine

The twin solid rocket boosters of the first stage flank a single, liquid-fueled central booster element. Derived from the space shuttle external tank, the central booster tank delivers liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen fuel to five RS-68 rocket engines -- a modified version of the ones currently used in the Delta IV launcher developed in the 1990s by the U.S. Air Force for its Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program and commercial launch applications. The RS-68 engines serve as the core stage propulsion for Ares V.

user posted image
Image above: An RS-68 engine undergoes hot-fire testing.
Credit: Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne
+ View large image


Atop the central booster element is an interstage cylinder, which includes booster separation motors and a newly designed forward adapter that mates the first stage with the Earth Departure Stage.

Ares V Earth Departure Stage / Engine

The Ares V Earth Departure Stage will be designed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The Earth Departure Stage is propelled by a J-2X main engine fueled with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The J-2X is an evolved variation of two historic predecessors: the powerful J-2 upper-stage engine that propelled the Apollo-era Saturn IB and Saturn V upper stages and the J-2S, a simplified version of the J-2 developed and tested in the early 1970s but never flown.

The Earth Departure Stage separates from the core stage and its J-2X engine ignites mid-flight.

user posted image
Image above: Concept image of the Ares V earth departure stage in orbit, shown with the Crew Exploration Vehicle docked with the Lunar Surface Access Module.
Credit: NASA
+ View large image [/color
]

Once in orbit, the Orion crew capsule -- the astronaut module delivered to orbit by Ares I -- docks with the orbiting Earth Departure Stage carrying the Lunar Surface Access Module, which will ferry astronauts to and from the moon’s surface. Once mated with the crew module, the departure stage fires its engine to achieve "escape velocity," the speed necessary to break free of Earth's gravity, and the new lunar vessel begins its journey to the moon.

user posted image
Image above: A J-2 engine undergoes static firing.
Credit: NASA
[color=#000099]+ View large image


The Earth Departure Stage is then jettisoned, leaving the crew module and Lunar Surface Access Module mated. Once the four astronauts arrive in lunar orbit, they transfer to the lunar module and descend to the moon's surface. The crew module remains in lunar orbit until the astronauts depart from the moon in the lunar vessel, rendezvous with the crew module in orbit and return to Earth.

Lunar Surface Access Module

Anchored atop the Earth Departure Stage is a composite shroud protecting the Lunar Surface Access Module, or LSAM.

user posted image
Image above: Artist concept of crew vehicle and lander in lunar orbit.
Credit: NASA
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This module includes the descent stage, developed by the Marshall Space Flight Center, that will carry explorers to the moon’s surface; and the ascent stage, developed by the Johnson Space Center, that will return them to lunar orbit to rendezvous with the crew exploration module, their ride home to Earth.


Source: NASA - Constellation Program - Ares Launch Vehicles

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#21    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:14 PM

NASA Selects Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Prime Contractor

The user posted image press release is reproduced below:

Aug. 31, 2006
Michael Braukus/Beth Dickey
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1979/2087

Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111

RELEASE: 06-305

NASA Selects Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Prime Contractor


NASA selected Wednesday Lockheed Martin Corp., based in Bethesda, Md., as the prime contractor to design, develop, and build Orion, America's spacecraft for a new generation of explorers.

Orion will be capable of transporting four crewmembers for lunar missions and later supporting crew transfers for Mars missions. Orion could also carry up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station.

The first Orion launch with humans onboard is planned for no later than 2014, and for a human moon landing no later than 2020. Orion will form a key element of extending a sustained human presence beyond low-Earth orbit to advance commerce, science and national leadership.

The contract with Lockheed Martin is the conclusion of a two-phase selection process. NASA began working with the two contractor teams, Northrop Grumman/Boeing and Lockheed Martin, in July 2005 to perform concept refinement, trade studies, analysis of requirements and preliminary design options. Lockheed Martin will be responsible for the design, development, testing, and evaluation (DDT&E) of the new spacecraft.

Manufacturing and integration of the vehicle components will take place at contractor facilities across the country. Lockheed Martin will perform the majority of the Orion vehicle engineering work at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, and complete final assembly of the vehicle at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. All 10 NASA centers will provide technical and engineering support to the Orion project.

The contract is structured into separate schedules for DDT&E with options for production of additional spacecraft and sustaining engineering. During DDT&E, NASA will use an end-item cost-plus-award-fee incentive contract. This makes the award fee subject to final determination after the contractor has demonstrated that it meets the technical, cost, and schedule requirements of the contract.

DDT&E work is estimated to occur from Sept. 8, 2006, through Sept. 7, 2013. The estimated value is $3.9 billion.

Production and sustaining engineering activities are contract options that will allow NASA to obtain additional vehicles as needed. Delivery orders over and above those in the DDT&E portion will specify the number of spacecraft to be produced and the schedule on which they should be delivered.

Post-development spacecraft delivery orders may begin as early as Sept. 8, 2009, through Sept. 7, 2019, if all options are exercised. The estimated value of these orders is negotiated based on future manifest requirements and knowledge gained through the DDT&E process and is estimated not to exceed $3.5 billion.

Sustaining engineering work will be assigned through task orders. The work is expected to occur from Sept. 8, 2009, through Sept. 7, 2019, with an estimated value of $750 million, if all options are exercised.

For information about Orion, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/home

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Source: NASA Press Release 06-305

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#22    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:48 PM

NASA Names Orion Contractor

Lessons from the past are guiding NASA's next step into the future, as the space agency prepares to replace the space shuttle with an Apollo-style vehicle for human explorers.

user posted image
Image left: Orion in lunar orbit.
Image credit: Lockheed Martin Corp.


The vehicle is Orion, named for one of the brightest and most recognizable star formations in the sky. It will be a multi-purpose capsule -- the central member of a family of spacecraft and shuttle-derived launchers that NASA's Constellation Program is developing to carry astronauts back to the moon and later to Mars. The first flight with astronauts aboard is planned for no later than 2014. Orion's first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020.

In what amounts to one of the most significant NASA procurements in more than 30 years, two industry teams, Northrop Grumman/Boeing and Lockheed Martin, spent the past 13 months refining concepts, analyzing requirements and sketching designs for Orion. On Thursday, managers of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate revealed that Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., has been chosen to build it.

Versatility will be Orion's trademark. It is being designed to fly to the moon, but could also be used to service the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit. "Our intent is to keep the destination focusing the design but we are not excluding the possibility of using Orion for other things, such as de-orbiting the Hubble Space Telescope in the 2020s or making a trek to an asteroid," said Jeff Hanley, who manages the Constellation Program from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Orion improves on the best features of Project Apollo and the Space Shuttle Program, increasing the likelihood of success. "Going with known technology and known solutions lowers the risk" said Neil Woodward, director of the integration office in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Although Orion borrows its shape and aerodynamic performance from Apollo, the new capsule's updated computers, electronics, life support, propulsion and heat protection systems represent a marked improvement over legacy systems. We're pushing the technological edge, but only where it makes sense," says Woodward.

Unlike the winged space shuttle orbiter, which is mounted beside its external fuel tank and boosters for liftoff, Orion will be placed on top of its booster to protect it from ice, foam, and other launch system debris during ascent. Placing the spacecraft on top of the launch vehicle also allows the addition of an abort system that can separate capsule and crew from the booster in an emergency.

user posted image
Image right: Orion and a lunar lander head for the moon.
Credit: Lockheed Martin Corp.


Among the most obvious improvements is the command module's size. Measuring 16.5 feet in diameter, Orion will have more than 2.5 times the interior volume of the three-seat Apollo capsules that carried astronaut crews to the moon for missions lasting only several hours to several days in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Orion will be crucial for developing a sustained human presence on the moon. It will be able to carry four astronauts to the moon and support missions of up to six months.

"You don't get the chance to build a new human spacecraft every day," said Skip Hatfield, the Orion project manager in Houston. "This is a wonderful opportunity for NASA to learn from the things we've done in the past, take the best of those activities, and blend them together using the latest methods of manufacturing and management to make a system that will enable us to go out and explore beyond low-Earth orbit."

Hatfield and Hanley noted that NASA is leveraging the talent and resources of the entire agency in the design and development of Orion. While Constellation Program management resides at Johnson, all 10 of the agency's field centers are making important contributions.

The contract with Lockheed Martin has a seven-year base valued at about $3.9 billion for design, development, testing and evaluation of the new spacecraft. Production and sustaining engineering activities are contract options worth more than $4 billion through 2019.


Source: NASA - Constellation Program - Orion Crew Vehicle

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#23    Trinitrotoluene

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 09:26 PM

Quote

A consortium led by Lockheed Martin will build the next spaceship to take humans to the Moon.

Nasa has awarded a multi-billion-dollar contract to the group to develop the Orion vehicle, which will replace the space shuttle when it retires in 2010.

The agency is dropping the shuttle's winged, reusable design and is going back to the capsule-style ships that first carried Americans into orbit.

Lockheed Martin beat a joint bid from Northrop Grumman and Boeing.

The first Orion vehicles should fly in 2014 or soon after.

They will launch aboard one-time-use, ¿single stick¿ rockets, called Ares, that Nasa is developing.

Click to see plans for Moon travel

Two versions are on the drawing board: one to lift Orion and its up-to-six astronauts, the other to loft a service module and other equipment that would be needed to support a mission to the lunar surface.

The idea is that the components would be joined in Earth orbit before being despatched to the Moon.

The Lockheed Martin Corporation is the world's largest defence contractor. It also builds commercial and military satellites, and the Atlas series of rockets.

Its Orion consortium includes booster-rocket maker Orbital Sciences, and the Hamilton Sundstrand unit of United Technologies Corp, which makes space suits, life support and power management systems.

US space policy has shifted in the wake of the 2003 shuttle disaster. President George W Bush has called for a new vision that will take humans beyond low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station, to aim to go back to the Moon and on to Mars.

Russia and Europe, too, are looking to develop a new human space-transportation system.

They are currently engaged in a joint feasibility study that could eventually lead to a rocket and capsule programme that evolves the best aspects of their Soyuz and Ariane technologies.

Infographic, BBC
(1) A heavy-lift rocket blasts off from Earth carrying a lunar lander and a "departure stage"
(2) Several days later, astronauts launch on a separate rocket system with their Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)
(3) The CEV docks with the lander and departure stage in Earth orbit and then heads to the Moon
(4) Having done its job of boosting the CEV and lunar lander on their way, the departure stage is jettisoned
(5) At the Moon, the astronauts leave their CEV and enter the lander for the trip to the lunar surface
(6) After exploring the lunar landscape for seven days, the crew blasts off in a portion of the lander
(7) In Moon orbit, they re-join the waiting robot-minded CEV and begin the journey back to Earth
(8) On the way, the service component of the CEV is jettisoned. This leaves just the crew capsule to enter the atmosphere
(9) A heatshield protects the capsule; parachutes bring it down on dry land, probably in California


Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5304086.stm

Awesome, one step closer to actually happening!

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." - Carl Sagan

#24    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 04:26 AM

The Lockheed Martin press release is reproduced below:



LOCKHEED MARTIN SELECTED BY NASA FOR ORION CREW EXPLORATION VEHICLE

Lockheed Martin Team To Design and Build Successor To Space Shuttle as NASA's Primary Vehicle For Human Space Exploration

Washington, D.C., August 31, 2006 -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today that it has selected the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team to design and build the agency’s next-generation human space flight crew transportation system known as Orion, with an initial contract value of approximately $4 billion.  

Orion, an advanced crew capsule design utilizing state-of-the-art technology, is a key element of NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration, and will succeed the Space Shuttle in transporting a new generation of human explorers to and from the International Space Station, the Moon, and eventually to Mars and beyond.

In partnership with NASA, Lockheed Martin will serve as prime contractor and will lead a world-class industry team that includes Honeywell, Orbital Sciences Corporation, United Space Alliance and Hamilton Sundstrand, supporting NASA in the design, test, build, integration and operational capability of Orion.

"We are honored by the trust that NASA has placed in the Lockheed Martin team for this historic and vital step forward in human space exploration," said Bob Stevens, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation.  "Our entire team is fully committed to supporting NASA as we join together to help make the vision for space exploration a reality."

Orion will transport up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station, and up to four crew members for lunar missions.  The new crew vehicle is designed to be an order of magnitude safer, more reliable, more affordable and more operationally efficient than previous human space flight systems.

“We are humbled and excited as we continue our legacy of five decades of partnership with NASA in every aspect of human and robotic space exploration,” said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.  “Work already is underway and we are fully focused on the vital tasks that lie ahead to meet NASA’s requirements for the program. We have a world-class team of highly dedicated, highly experienced women and men who are passionate about the success of NASA’s missions.”

The Lockheed Martin Orion program office is located in Houston, TX, co-located with NASA’s Johnson Space Center, providing support in the areas of program management, requirements development, software development, avionics, human factors, and system qualification testing.  Large structures and composites will be built at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA.  Final assembly, checkout and acceptance testing of Orion for both the Crew Module and Service Module will be performed in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.  

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.


Source: Lockheed Martin Press Release

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#25    Lance5050

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 03:43 PM

Saw this on the news Gav...I used to work for LMMS in Denver and got to tour the main facility where they were assembling Titans - and another type that i can't remember the name of right now -  at the time...pretty cool place to tour.

I wonder what the plans are this time?  I guess the astronauts will be able to do a lot more exploring if they're on the surface for 7 days.  Maybe they could land next to one of the old sites and fire up the moon jeep they left behind (plug in a new battery, kick the tires, and off they go).


#26    RamboIII

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 03:48 PM

I am considering investing in LMT after hearing this news... but the stock is already at 80+ dollars a share.... it still might be worth a shot.


#27    Twitch98

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 04:48 PM

And we'll end up with some bloated 1950s "space capsule" blasted into orbit by chemical rockets based on 1930s designs instead of a true space vehicle.  It's as if NASA is stuck in some retro mode afraid to boldly go anywhere beyond their noses.

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#28    Lance5050

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 05:05 PM

Quote


I am considering investing in LMT after hearing this news... but the stock is already at 80+ dollars a share.... it still might be worth a shot.


Reminds me of my saddest investment decision ever (it still hurts)...about 7-8 years ago, soon after LM screwed up one of the Mars probe missions, LMT stock fell to $18 per share.  I thought it was a bargain and bought 1000 shares online.  Soon thereafter I was at a party and a cousin of mine explained how well his tech stocks had been doing.  LMT hadn't moved so I sold at the same price and bought NASDAQ crap instead.  I finally bailed out with about $5K.  Who knew?...certainly not me.


#29    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 07:20 PM

NASA'S Exploration Systems Progress Report

The user posted image press release is reproduced below:

Sept. 1, 2006
Mike Braukus/Beth Dickey
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1979/2087

Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0371

RELEASE: 06-310

NASA'S Exploration Systems Progress Report


NASA recently completed a series of tests that will aid in the design and development of a parachute recovery system for the rocket and capsule that will return astronauts to the moon and later support missions to Mars. The system will be used for the first stage booster of the Ares I crew launch vehicle and for Orion, the new crew exploration vehicle.

NASA and industry engineers traveled to the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. to conduct drop tests of the two parachute systems during the week of Aug. 14.

The Ares I tests collected performance data on a pilot parachute, the first to be unfurled in a three-stage recovery system NASA is developing for the rocket's first stage. The system includes a pilot, drogue and three main parachutes. The system is derived from the space shuttle's solid rocket booster recovery system. The pilot chute, 11.5 feet in diameter, was packed and mounted inside a 1,500-pound drop test vehicle. Instruments and a recorder were mounted inside the test vehicle to capture data on the speed, weight on the parachute lines and pressure during descent from an altitude of 10,000 feet.

The Ares I first stage booster Recovery System Development Test Program is a two-year effort. Six additional pilot parachute tests will be conducted through 2008. Tests are also planned for the drogue and main parachutes.

The Orion crew exploration vehicle parachute tests demonstrated a three-stage main parachute deployment sequence. Data gathered during this test will help designers ensure that their computer models accurately predict the way the parachutes will behave. The parachute recovery system for Orion will be similar to the system used for Apollo command module landings and include two drogue, three pilot and three main parachutes.

The Orion test parachute unfurled in three stages until its maximum diameter was achieved, demonstrating a technique to avoid undue stress on the crew capsule as it descends through the atmosphere. The parachute design promotes quicker inflation and strengthens its canopy with a vent hoop to increase the amount of mass it can handle. The Orion test parachute was dropped from an altitude of 8,000 feet.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., is responsible for project management of the Ares I first stage and leads the design and development of the solid rocket booster recovery system. ATK Launch Systems, Brigham City, Utah, is the prime contractor for the first stage booster. ATK's subcontractor, United Space Alliance, Houston, is responsible for the design, development and test of the parachutes at their facilities at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The Johnson Space Center, Houston, hosts the Constellation Program and Orion Project Office and provides test instrumentation and support personnel. Yuma Proving Ground is providing the test range; support facilities and equipment.

For information about NASA's Constellation Program, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/home

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Source: NASA Press Release 06-310

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#30    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:04 PM

NASA's Exploration Systems Progress Report
09.01.06


Mike Braukus/Beth Dickey
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202.358.1979/2087)

Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

News release: H-06-310


NASA recently completed a series of tests that will aid in the design and development of a parachute recovery system for the rocket and capsule that will return astronauts to the moon and later support missions to Mars. The system will be used for the first stage booster of the Ares I crew launch vehicle and for Orion, the new crew exploration vehicle.

NASA and industry engineers traveled to the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. to conduct drop tests of the two parachute systems during the week of Aug. 14.

The Ares I tests collected performance data on a pilot parachute, the first to be unfurled in a three-stage recovery system NASA is developing for the rocket's first stage. The system includes a pilot, drogue and three main parachutes. The system is derived from the space shuttle's solid rocket booster recovery system. The pilot chute, 11.5 feet in diameter, was packed and mounted inside a 1,500-pound drop test vehicle. Instruments and a recorder were mounted inside the test vehicle to capture data on the speed, weight on the parachute lines and pressure during descent from an altitude of 10,000 feet.

The Ares I first stage booster Recovery System Development Test Program is a two-year effort. Six additional pilot parachute tests will be conducted through 2008. Tests are also planned for the drogue and main parachutes.

The Orion crew exploration vehicle parachute tests demonstrated a three-stage main parachute deployment sequence. Data gathered during this test will help designers ensure that their computer models accurately predict the way the parachutes will behave.

The parachute recovery system for Orion will be similar to the system used for Apollo command module landings and include two drogue, three pilot and three main parachutes.

The Orion test parachute unfurled in three stages until its maximum diameter was achieved, demonstrating a technique to avoid undue stress on the crew capsule as it descends through the atmosphere. The parachute design promotes quicker inflation and strengthens its canopy with a vent hoop to increase the amount of mass it can handle. The Orion test parachute was dropped from an altitude of 8,000 feet.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., is responsible for project management of the Ares I first stage and leads the design and development of the solid rocket booster recovery system. ATK Launch Systems, Brigham City, Utah, is the prime contractor for the first stage booster. ATK's subcontractor, United Space Alliance, Houston, is responsible for the design, development and test of the parachutes at their facilities at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The Johnson Space Center, Houston, hosts the Constellation Program and Orion Project Office and provides test instrumentation and support personnel. Yuma Proving Ground is providing the test range; support facilities and equipment.

For information about NASA's Constellation Program, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


Source: NASA/MSFC News Release H-06-310

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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