NASA and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) are working together to help launch NASA’s next Orion spacecraft, the space agency announced Thursday.NASA’s Orion spacecraft will be the next step in the space exploration and colonization program, which includes sending humans to Mars, exploring the asteroid belt, and sending astronauts to the Moon.
The Orion spacecraft has been the subject of intense public and congressional scrutiny for its safety record, and the agency is planning to send astronauts to Mars.ULA and SpaceX are launching their own spacecraft for the Orion program, called Dragon and the Crew Dragon.NASA announced the Orion spacecraft and crew capsules at its Johnson Space Center, the world’s largest launch facility, in Houston, Texas, in September.
The capsules will launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and enter the atmosphere on a rocket-powered rocket with four Merlin engines that will blast them into orbit.
The Orion spacecraft includes a NASA spacecraft that will conduct research, collect data, and perform testing.
The spacecraft will also carry out scientific investigations, and provide science to the international community.NASA and SpaceX will be launching Dragon and crew Dragon capsules from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, on Oct. 7.
The launch is part of the agency’s $1.8 billion Commercial Crew Program.
It is designed to help NASA and commercial space companies secure contracts and provide funding for crew transportation to the International Space Station.