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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

NASA Goes 'Green': Next Spacecraft to Be Reusable

 Called the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle, the new vehicle will be able to carry astronauts to Earth orbit, to the moon, asteroids, and eventually to Mars.

Though it looks similar to the gumdrop shape of the Apollo moon-bound capsules, the Orion spacecraft is a whole new machine. Unlike the old capsules, Orion — set to make its first test flight in 2017 — can be reused.

The Orion capsule consists of three basic sections: a crew module, a service module, and a launch abort system. A powerful new rocket, called the Space Launch System, will be used to launch Orion into space.

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