What Does It Take to Build a Spacecraft for Human Flight?

Here’s a look the latest achievements and milestones for the Orion spacecraft as engineers build, test and test some more to get the vehicle ready for its first orbital test flight in 2014.

8 Replies to “What Does It Take to Build a Spacecraft for Human Flight?”

  1. Hmmmm, interesting video. I’m sure I’m far from the only person who feels a little ‘deja vu’. It’s nice to see they are getting on with it. Now let’s see some good progress with SLS and a little political will and boldness!

  2. Dear NASA,

    The 1960s called, they want their space capsule back.

    Seriously, “long duration” flights? This thing is just a long duration radiation exposure cage for hapless astronauts once it gets outside the Earth’s protective magnetic field. Have we learned nothing in the past 40 years?

  3. A nice video but SpaceX has already done this with Dragon at a fraction of the cost. The cost of just the single unmanned flight would progress the launch escape system inbult to the spacecraft that could be used through all phases and also for controlled rocket landing.
    Orion is nice but very expensive and the cost is delaying return of US to human spaceflight capability.

  4. My fellow Earthicans,

    What NASA is doing here is by far the most important mission ever made by man. Politics and cost are a non-issue as far as I’m concerned. The Earth can only support humans for so long and it’s important that we push the boundaries of space exploration now. Not just because we want to learn about the universe, but because the very survival of our species depends on it. There will be a time when we as humans will face extinction (famine, asteroid impact, not enough resources ect..) and what NASA is doing now will be the ground work for future generations to get off this rock and keep the human species alive.

    NASA is the best in our known universe at engineering, building and launching maned and unmanned space craft ( Would you trust your life with a Russian rocket? ). It’s great that private companies are developing cheaper ways of sub-orbital flight but if I want to go to Mars, I’ll stick with NASA.

  5. Cheesy video, and that Launch Escape System looks awesome. However I couldn’t suppress a little wince when the narrator said ‘unique environment of space’. OK, there is only one space, but different parts of it present very different challenges. Even more so that the ‘unique environment of Earth’.

    Still, good to see the technology progressing, and by the sounds of it the knowledge is being fed back into private industry to help them develop their own commodity space systems.

    @Garrai, the only thing that Orion has in common with the Lunar capsule is the conical shape, which is the best shape for this kind of craft.

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