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NASA'S Orion Arrives At Kennedy, Work Underway For First Launch 103

An anonymous reader writes in with news about the arrival of the Orion spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center today. "More than 450 guests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida welcomed the arrival of the agency’s first space-bound Orion spacecraft Monday, marking a major milestone in the construction of the vehicle that will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before. 'Orion’s arrival at Kennedy is an important step in meeting the president’s goal to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars in the 2030s,' NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. 'As NASA acquires services for delivery of cargo and crew to the International Space Station and other low-Earth destinations from private companies, NASA can concentrate its efforts on building America’s next generation space exploration system to reach destinations for discovery in deep space. Delivery of the first space-bound Orion, coupled with recent successes in commercial spaceflight, is proof this national strategy is working.'"
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NASA'S Orion Arrives At Kennedy, Work Underway For First Launch

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  • Huh? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 02, 2012 @05:11PM (#40521359)

    That looks like something straight out of the space race.

    I think SpaceX's Dragon is light years beyond that underfunded hunk of metal.

    I think I've lost my hope in NASA.

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Monday July 02, 2012 @05:45PM (#40521703) Homepage Journal
    It's kind of silly to take your earth-reentry equipment and fuel all of the way to Mars and back.
  • by Antipater ( 2053064 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @06:22PM (#40522061)
    I'd rather have repeat names than annoyingly boring ones. Seriously, "Space Launch System"?! What, did we run out of deities? I mean, come on, it's a rocket similar in size and power to Saturn - why not Hyperion? It's a scaled-up version of Ares, why not Odin?
  • by kelarius ( 947816 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @08:41PM (#40522923)
    This is their launch-return vehicle, they're obviously not going to sit in something the size of a small minivan for 6 months on the way to Mars or an asteroid (unless its Apophis or something similar). The idea is they take this to orbit, dock with a spacecraft assembled in space, then go to wherever they want to go (eventually). The shuttle was always a boondoggle, the only reason it had the configuration it did was to return things from orbit, which it almost never did. They had to build a much less efficient reentry platform for that purpose, and even when reusable most of the external components weren't. A conical shape like this is very cheap since it's single use, there is no reason you cant salvage internal components if you want either.

    The Russians have been using designs like this for over 50 years and their manned space program is TONS cheaper than ours, and you cant say that they cut safety corners to save money since their record over the last 20 years is FAR better.
  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @08:44PM (#40522941)

    It's kind of silly to take your earth-reentry equipment and fuel all of the way to Mars and back.

    The alternative is to carry enough fuel to brake into LEO before rendezvous with the reentry capsule.

    Oddly enough, the fuel required to go from Mars-Earth transition orbit to LEO is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH heavier than the capsule capable of reentry directly from that same mars-earth transition orbit.

  • Re:My concern.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Teancum ( 67324 ) <robert_horning AT netzero DOT net> on Monday July 02, 2012 @09:13PM (#40523091) Homepage Journal

    Is the continued commitment to solid fuel rockets. I feel it is very dangerous to put humans on anything that has solid rocket(s), even if they're boosters.

    Your comment is strong evidence that everything is relative. The original Orion design called for a nuclear bomb powered spacecraft. Now, what were you saying about solid rocket fuel?

    I always thought the name of the Orion capsule was odd given the name history. I can only presume the name was either completely coincidental by a clueless bureaucrat who never studied space history, or it was a deliberate naming choice knowing full well about the earlier program... either to bury that earlier program for good or hint at some future propulsion method.

    I'd like to hope it was a clueless suit that never took an aerospace engineering course in their life and got their job as a patronage perk from helping with an election campaign.

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