[SatNews] NASA’s groundbreaking Orion program will be discussed in-depth in a special “highlight lecture” on October 15th at the International Astronautical Congress hosted this year by the Israel Space Agency in Jerusalem.
Considered one of the most vital steppingstones of NASA’s Mars program, Orion is built to take humans farther into space than they have ever gone before. It will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew and provide a safe return to Earth. Having completed its first successful flight test in December 2014, Orion's next milestone will be a flight beyond the orbit of the moon.
The challenges, problems and successes of this difficult mission, as well as the next steps in taking humans beyond Low Earth Orbit, will be explained at IAC by two top Program Managers, Associate Administrator Mr. William Gerstenmaier from NASA, and Dr. Michael Hawes, Lockheed Martin’s Vice President and Orion Program Manager. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the Orion mission.
"NASA is working to develop the capabilities necessary to expand human presence into the solar system,” said Mr. Gerstenmaier from NASA. “Together with the Space Launch System rocket, Orion is a critical part of our efforts, and sharing insights from last year’s flight test of the spacecraft with others in the international space community is an important part of enabling humanity to explore deep space destinations and eventually sending astronauts to Mars."
Dr. Hawes, Lockheed Martin’s Vice President and Program Manager for Orion, said, “...every day we are making great progress on the design and build of the next Orion spacecraft. This is the spacecraft that will take humans to Mars one day, and I’m looking forward to sharing where we are on that journey with the IAC audience.”