- Orion is a new NASA spacecraft for astronauts. The spacecraft is an important part of NASA’s Artemis program that includes sending the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024.
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- Orion will carry astronauts into deep space, and then return them home safely to Earth.
- This spacecraft will take a crew to the Gateway in lunar orbit.
- The Gateway is a new spaceship that will serve as a place for astronauts to prepare before missions to the surface of the Moon and, ultimately, Mars.
- Orion will take astronauts farther than they have ever gone. Orion will do several things:
- Carry the crew safely to space.
- Serve as a home while the crew is traveling.
- Allow the crew to return to Earth safely from speeds as fast as 20,000 mph.
- Be a “lifeboat” if the crew has to return to Earth in an emergency.
- Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).
- Orion will fly past the Moon and return to Earth during Artemis I.
What Is the Artemis Program?
- Artemis is NASA’s new lunar exploration program, which includes sending the first woman and the next man on the Moon.
- Through the Artemis program, NASA will use new technology to study the Moon in new and better ways, and prepare for human missions to Mars.
- Space Launch System (SLS) will carry the Orion spacecraft with up to four astronauts riding aboard to lunar orbit.
- Artemis will send a crew with the first woman and the next man to land on the Moon by 2024.
Through this mission, at the Moon, astronauts will:
- Search for the Moon’s water and use it.
- Study the Moon to discover its
- Learn how to live and work on the surface of another celestial body where astronauts are just three days from home.
- Test the technologies we need before sending astronauts on missions to Mars.