Saturday, June 6, 2009

Orion spacecraft mockup shows up in Washington

orioncapsule_front.jpgCome along with NASA as the space agency regresses back to the space capsule era, starring Orion, which you see here. Sitting outside the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, the mockup is on its way to Kennedy Space Center, where it'll be dunked in the Atlantic to see if it'll nearly drown astronauts. You laugh, but that almost happened to ol' Gus Grissom on Liberty Bell 7, back in the Project Mercury days.

Even though this Moon- and Mars-bound spacecraft looks a lot like Apollo, the tech has been seriously updated. Gone is the 60s-era computer that was about a tenth as powerful as an iPhone, and here for the duration is a much bigger capsule — large enough to hold six astronauts. Still, those are close quarters. Let's hope by the time this ship goes to Mars in 2037, they've found a crew that gets along, because Mars is so far, far away.

No comments:

Blogging tips