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)