Thursday, 1 January 2015
Orion Spacecraft - Magenta! This Is One NOT To Be Missed, Trial By Fire,...
NASA took significant steps on the agency’s journey to Mars -- testing cutting-edge technologies and making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe as the agency made progress on the next generation of air travel.
“We continued to make great progress on our journey to Mars this year, awarding contracts to American companies who will return human space flight launches to U.S. soil, advancing space technology development; and successfully completing the first flight of Orion, the next deep space spacecraft in which our astronauts will travel,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “We moved forward on our work to create quieter, greener airplanes and develop technologies to make air travel more efficient; and we advanced our study of our changing home planet, Earth, while increasing our understanding of others in our solar system and beyond.”
Journey to Mars
NASA achieved a major milestone in December on its journey to Mars as the agency’s Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space during a four-and-a-half-hour flight test.
Orion is part of NASA’s plan to develop new technologies and capabilities to send astronauts farther than ever before, first to an asteroid, and onward to the Red Planet.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related education soared to new heights with a student-built radiation experiment aboard Orion. NASA’s Office of Education, partnered with the Lockheed Martin Corp., used the Exploration Design Challenge to engage students in STEM by inviting them to help tackle one of the most significant dangers of human space flight -- radiation exposure.
NASA’s parallel path for human spaceflight also took a giant leap forward in September when the agency announced U.S. astronauts once again would travel to and from the International Space Station (ISS) from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts worked by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The agency selected Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017. NASA’s parallel path for human spaceflight involves U.S. commercial companies providing access to low-Earth orbit while NASA prepares deep space exploration missions with Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.