The First Look at NASA's Upcoming Orion Mission to the Moon – Video and Gallery

NASA is sending the Orion spacecraft around the Moon in 2017

  Orion along with the ESA-built service module
With near Earth flights left to commercial organizations, NASA has its sights set on bigger things, thankfully. The Orion spacecraft is still in the planning stages, but the first, uncrewed, mission is scheduled for 2017, which isn't that far off.
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With near Earth flights left to commercial organizations, NASA has its sights set on bigger things, thankfully. The Orion spacecraft is still in the planning stages, but the first, uncrewed, mission is scheduled for 2017, which isn't that far off.

Orion's first mission will also be the first flight of the Space Launch System, the new rocket system NASA is developing for use in the coming decades.

NASA is not going at it alone, ESA will be building the service module, which will carry fuel and an engine to propel the Orion capsule on its first mission, a round trip to the Moon.

The service module will be based on ESA's existing Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs), already used to resupply the ISS. NASA has released a new video depicting the first Moon mission, through all its stages.

Orion and the ESA service module (2 Images)

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