The next step step towards a human mission to Mars has arrived: meet Orion, the spacecraft that is destined to eventually take humans to the red planet.
First, NASA has to make a few stops.
“We’re building a machine that’s designed to go to the moon, asteroids, neutral gravity points , and eventually Mars. We haven’t had this huge technological breakthrough, We don’t have dilithium crystals yet, so, we’ll do what we can with what we are doing,” Orion Deputy Project Manager Larry Price told FOX40.
That means no warp drive just yet, but they are using more advanced engines. Rancho Cordova’s Aerojet company is providing quite a boost to this project.
“Aerojet provides the rocket engines for the Orion capsule and service module,” Sam Wiley of Aerojet said.
NASA plans to launch an orbital test flight of Orion next year. The first fully crewed launch is projected to be an asteroid recovery mission in 2021.
“Deep Space exploration, that’s what it’s all about,” former astronaut John Casper said. “We want to explore, we want to go beyond lower earth orbit. We want to get to those destinations.”