Orion, the centerpiece of NASA's post-shuttle push to break out of low Earth orbit, arrives this week at Kennedy Space Center, but its first manned launch isn't until around 2021.
NASA's first Orion vehicle settles in at the Kennedy Space Center to get outfitted for an unmanned test flight in 2014. The first manned flight is expected around 2021.
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The move is the latest in the U.S. space agency's plans to get critical re-entry flight performance data as well as show what's possible with integration between various systems related to Orion, the Space Launch System, and others.
With plans the space agency announced Tuesday for an unmanned flight test in 2014, it showed that it is determined to move forward with its deep space exploration goals.
Winning a new lease on life, NASA will develop a modified version of the Orion capsule, originally intended for the Bush administration's moon program, to carry astronauts on future flights to deep space targets.
The General Motors Orion Assembly plant will save $1.1 million a year in energy costs thanks to recent improvements at the plant.
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