NASA is building a spacecraft to take astronauts to deep space that will usher in a new era of space exploration.Orion will take us farther than we’ve gone before, and dock with the Gateway in orbit around the Moon.
“ President Donald Trump has asked NASA to accelerate our plans to return to the Moon and to land humans on the surface again by 2024.We will go with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than was ever thought possible. And then we will use what we learn on the Moon to take the next giant leap - sending astronauts to Mars ” —NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine NASA’s science, technology and human exploration activities touch every aspect of our lives here on Earth and we want to extend our presence to the farthest corners of the universe.This alternative propulsion system will enrich exploration at the Moon by enabling orbit transfers and reusable space tugs to and from the lunar surface.Beginning with a series of small commercial delivery missions, we will use new tools and technology demonstrations to conduct more science across the surface of the Moon, and exploit the resources of our nearest neighbor ahead of a human return.More than 45 years since we last set foot on the Moon, our president has renewed the nation’s focus on expanding humanity’s presence beyond Earth.
Space Policy Directive-1 provides the direction for NASA to organize more effectively government, commercial and international efforts to develop a permanent presence off Earth that generates new markets and opportunities, both scientific and economic.
Located about 250,000 miles from Earth, the Gateway will enable access to the entire surface of the Moon and provide new opportunities in deep space for exploration.
This new era of sustainable human exploration requires advanced technologies that are efficient, affordable and reliable.
NASA will launch Orion on the agency’s powerful rocket, the Space Launch System, from a modernized spaceport at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
On the first integrated mission, known as Exploration Mission-1, an uncrewed Orion will venture thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about three weeks.
Exploration is in the DNA of our species – the desire to discover and inhabit distant worlds, whether across Earthly oceans or vast regions of space.