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First Look at the Orion Spacecraft

With the Space Shuttle’s imminent retirement, much of the discussion about the future of American spaceflight has centered on private companies like SpaceX. But NASA will have a spacecraft for deep-space missions, and Lockheed Martin recently unveiled the first of these craft called Orion.

Originally designed as part of the now-defunct Constellation project, Orion is the craft that is hoped will carry astronauts to Asteroids and beyond. Reusable and highly durable, the Orion crew module looks like a larger Apollo-era capsule but with a slew of high-tech improvements.

NASA hopes to have a manned mission flying by 2016, and it certainly seems like they are well on their way.

(Engadget, image credit Lockheed Martin)

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