Orion (spacecraft) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts - Homework Help
Orion with ATV SM
The Orion spacecraft. This is a mockup made by an artist of the spacecraft.

Orion is a spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin for NASA. Each Orion spacecraft will be able to carry up to six astronauts. The Orion vehicle will be launched on the Space Launch System, but the first launch (EFT-1) was on the Delta IV Heavy.

Orion will launch from Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center, the same launch site used by the Space Shuttle and the Saturn V. Orion is meant to take humans to asteroids and Mars.


Ares-I-X 2009-5938 (cropped)
The only launch of the Ares I, Ares I-X. This did not have an Orion spacecraft and did not go to orbit.
Space Launch System in Flight
An artist mockup of the Space Launch System.

Orion was first made for the Constellation program in 2004, as the Orion CEV (Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle). It was meant to be launched on the Ares I rocket. Then it would be able to go to the International Space Station. It was also planned to go to a spacecraft launched in pieces on different Ares V rockets, and the spacecraft with the Orion would go to the Moon, Mars, or another place.

On October 11, 2010, Constellation was cancelled. They created a new program and a new rocket called the Space Launch System, and changed the name of Orion to the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. This rocket will launch Orion for going to asteroids and Mars.

Images for kids

Orion (spacecraft) Facts for Kids. Homework Help - Kiddle Encyclopedia.