The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) is a US-European spacecraft intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at or beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). Currently[when?] under development by NASA and the ESA for launch on the Space Launch System (SLS), Orion is intended to be the main crew vehicle of the Artemis lunar exploration program as well as potential crew flights to Mars and beyond.
Orion spacecraft built for the Artemis 1 mission at the Kennedy Space Center
|Manufacturer||Lockheed Martin |
Airbus Defence and Space
|Applications||Crewed exploration beyond LEO|
|Spacecraft type||Space capsule|
|Design life||21.1 days|
|Launch mass||Crew module: 22,900 lb (10,400 kg)  |
Service module: 34,085 lb (15,461 kg) 
Total (with launch abort system): 73,735 lb (33,446 kg) 
Injected lunar mass: 58,467 lb (26,520 kg) 
|Dry mass||Crew module: 20,500 lb (9,300 kg) landing weight  |
Service module: 13,635 lb (6,185 kg) 
|Payload capacity||220 lb (100 kg) return payload |
|Volume||Pressurized: 690.6 cu ft (20 m3) |
Habitable: 316 cu ft (9 m3)
|Length||10 feet 10 inches (3.30 m)|
|Diameter||16 feet 6 inches (5.03 m)|
|First launch||December 5, 2014|
Artemis 1 is planned to be the first flight of Orion on SLS, Artemis 2 the first crewed flight, and Artemis 3 the first lunar landing via the Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway. However, July 2016 Government Accountability Office report cast doubt on the planned initial launch date and suggested that an aggressive goal may be counterproductive to the program.
The Orion MPCV uses the same basic configuration as the Apollo Command and Service Module (CSM) that first took astronauts to the Moon, but with an increased diameter, updated thermal protection system, and a host of other modern technologies. Orion will support long-duration deep space missions with up to 21 days active crew time plus 6 months quiescent spacecraft life. During the quiescent period crew life support would be provided by another module, such as the proposed Deep Space Habitat. The spacecraft's life support, propulsion, thermal protection, and avionics systems can be upgraded as new technologies become available.
The Orion spacecraft includes both crew and service modules, and a spacecraft adapter. The Orion's crew module is larger than Apollo's and can support more crew members for short or long-duration missions. The European service module propels and powers the spacecraft as well as storing oxygen and water for astronauts.
Crew module (CM)Edit
The Orion crew module (CM) is a reusable transportation capsule that provides a habitat for the crew, provides storage for consumables and research instruments, and contains the docking port for crew transfers. The crew module is the only part of the Orion that returns to Earth after each mission and is a 57.5° truncated cone shape with a blunt spherical aft end, 5.02 meters (16 ft 6 in) in diameter and 3.3 meters (10 ft 10 in) in length, with a mass of about 8.5 metric tons (19,000 lb). It was manufactured by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. It will have 50% more volume than the Apollo capsule and will carry four to six astronauts. After extensive study, NASA has selected the Avcoat ablator system for the Orion crew module. Avcoat, which is composed of silica fibers with a resin in a honeycomb made of fiberglass and phenolic resin, was formerly used on the Apollo missions and on the Space Shuttle orbiter for early flights.
Orion's CM will use advanced technologies, including:
- Glass cockpit digital control systems derived from those of the Boeing 787.
- An "autodock" feature, like those of Progress, the Automated Transfer Vehicle, and Dragon 2, with provision for the flight crew to take over in an emergency. Prior US spacecraft have all been docked by the crew.
- Improved waste-management facilities, with a miniature camping-style toilet and the unisex "relief tube" used on the Space Shuttle.
- A nitrogen/oxygen (N
2) mixed atmosphere at either sea level (101.3 kPa or 14.69 psi) or reduced (55.2 to 70.3 kPa or 8.01 to 10.20 psi) pressure.
- Far more advanced computers than on prior crew vehicles.
The CM will be built of aluminium-lithium alloy. The reusable recovery parachutes will be based on the parachutes used on both the Apollo spacecraft and the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters, and will be constructed of Nomex cloth. Water landings will be the exclusive means of recovery for the Orion CM.
To allow Orion to mate with other vehicles, it will be equipped with the NASA Docking System. The spacecraft will employ a Launch Escape System (LES) along with a "Boost Protective Cover" (made of fiberglass), to protect the Orion CM from aerodynamic and impact stresses during the first 2 1⁄2 minutes of ascent. Its designers claim that the MPCV is designed to be 10 times safer during ascent and reentry than the Space Shuttle. The CM is designed to be refurbished and reused. In addition, all of the Orion's component parts have been designed to be as modular as possible, so that between the craft's first test flight in 2014 and its projected Mars voyage in the 2030s, the spacecraft can be upgraded as new technologies become available.
European service module (ESM)Edit
In May 2011 the ESA director general announced a possible collaboration with NASA to work on a successor to the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). On June 21, 2012, Airbus Defence and Space announced that they had been awarded two separate studies, each worth €6.5 million, to evaluate the possibilities of using technology and experience gained from ATV and Columbus related work for future missions. The first looked into the possible construction of a service module which would be used in tandem with the Orion CM. The second examined the possible production of a versatile multi purpose orbital vehicle.
On November 21, 2012, the ESA decided to develop an ATV-derived service module for the Orion MPCV. The service module is being manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen, Germany. NASA announced on January 16, 2013 that the ESA service module will first fly on Artemis 1, the debut launch of the Space Launch System.
On February 16, 2017 a €200m contract was signed between Airbus and the European Space Agency for the production of a second European service module for use on the first crewed Orion flight, Artemis 2.
Launch Abort System (LAS)Edit
In the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent, a Launch Abort System (LAS) will separate the crew module from the launch vehicle using three solid rocket motors: an abort motor (AM), an attitude control motor (ACM), and a jettison motor (JM). The AM provides the thrust needed to accelerate the capsule, while the ACM is used to point the AM and the jettison motor separates the LAS from the crew capsule. On July 10, 2007, Orbital Sciences, the prime contractor for the LAS, awarded Alliant Techsystems (ATK) a $62.5 million sub-contract to "design, develop, produce, test and deliver the launch abort motor," which uses a "reverse flow" design. On July 9, 2008, NASA announced that ATK had completed construction of a vertical test stand at a facility in Promontory, Utah to test launch abort motors for the Orion spacecraft. Another long-time space motor contractor, Aerojet, was awarded the jettison motor design and development contract for the LAS. As of September 2008, Aerojet has, along with team members Orbital Sciences, Lockheed Martin and NASA, successfully demonstrated two full-scale test firings of the jettison motor. This motor is used on every flight, as it pulls the LAS tower away from the vehicle after both a successful launch and a launch abort.
The Orion MPCV was announced by NASA on May 24, 2011. Its design is based on the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle from the cancelled Constellation program. The Orion command module is being built by Lockheed Martin at the Michoud Assembly Facility, while the Orion service module is being built by Airbus Defence and Space with funding from the European Space Agency.
The MPCV's first uncrewed test flight (EFT-1) was launched atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket on December 5, 2014 and lasted 4 hours and 24 minutes before landing at its target in the Pacific Ocean.
Funding history and planningEdit
For fiscal years 2006 through 2018, the Orion program expended funding totaling $15,983 million in nominal dollars. This is equivalent to $18,138 million adjusting to 2018 dollars using the NASA New Start Inflation Indices.
|Line item name|
Excluded from the prior Orion costs are:
- Costs "for production, operations, or sustainment of additional crew capsules, despite plans to use and possibly enhance this capsule after 2021"
- Costs of the first service module and spare parts, which are provided by ESA for the test flight of Orion in 2020 (about US$1 billion)
- Costs to assemble, integrate, prepare and launch the Orion and its launcher (funded under the NASA Ground Operations Project, currently about $400M per year)
- Costs of the launcher, the SLS, for the Orion spacecraft
For 2019 to 2023, NASA estimated yearly budgets for Orion range from $1.1 to $1.2 billion. In late 2015, the Orion program was assessed at a 70% confidence level for its first crewed flight by 2023.
There are no NASA estimates for the Orion program recurring yearly costs once operational, for a certain flight rate per year, or for the resulting average costs per flight. In 2016, the NASA manager of exploration systems development said that Orion, SLS, and supporting ground systems should cost "US$2 billion or less" annually. NASA will not provide the cost per flight of Orion and SLS, with associate administrator William H. Gerstenmaier stating “costs must be derived from the data and are not directly available. This was done by design to lower NASA's expenditures” in 2017.
Test articles and mockupsEdit
- Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (SVMF) in Johnson Space Center, includes a full-scale Orion capsule mock-up for astronaut training.
- Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) Orion (originally designated OFT-1), constructed at Michoud Assembly Facility, was delivered by Lockheed Martin to the Kennedy Space Center on July 2, 2012 and launched and recovered on December 5, 2014.
- The Boilerplate Test Article (BTA) underwent splashdown testing at the Langley Research Center. This same test article has been modified to support Orion Recovery Testing in stationary and underway recovery tests. The BTA contains over 150 sensors to gather data on its test drops. Testing of the 18,000 pound mockup ran from July 2011 to January 6, 2012.
- The Ground Test Article (GTA) stack, located at Lockheed Martin in Denver, is undergoing vibration testing. It is made up by the Orion Ground Test Vehicle (GTV) combined with its Launch Abort System (LAS). Further testing will see the addition of service module simulator panels and Thermal Protection System (TPS) to the GTA stack.
- The Drop Test Article (DTA), also known as the Drop Test Vehicle (DTV) underwent test drops at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona from an altitude of 25,000 feet. Testing began in 2007. Drogue chutes deploy around 20,000 and 15,000 feet. Testing of the staged parachutes includes the partial opening and complete failure of one of the three main parachutes. With only two chutes deployed the DTA lands at 33 feet per second, the maximum touchdown speed for Orion's design. The drop test program has had several failures in 2007, 2008, and 2010, resulting in new DTV being constructed. The landing parachute set is known as the Capsule Parachute Assembly System (CPAS). With all parachutes functional, a landing speed of 17 mph (7.6 m/s) was achieved. A third test vehicle, the PCDTV3, was successfully tested in a drop on April 17, 2012.
Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)Edit
The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) was announced on January 14, 2004 as part of the Vision for Space Exploration after the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. The CEV effectively replaced the conceptual Orbital Space Plane (OSP), a proposed replacement for the Space Shuttle. As the Vision for Space Exploration was developed into the Constellation program under NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, the Crew Exploration Vehicle was renamed the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, after the stellar constellation and mythical hunter of the same name.
Constellation proposed using the Orion CEV in both crew and cargo variants to support the International Space Station and as a crew vehicle for a return to the Moon. The crew/command module was originally intended to land on solid ground on the US west coast using airbags but later changed to ocean splashdown, while a service module was included for life support and propulsion. With a diameter of 5 metres as opposed to 3.9 metres, the Orion CEV would have provided 2.5 times greater volume than the Apollo CM. The service module was originally planned to use liquid methane (LCH4) as its fuel, but switched to hypergolic propellants due to the infancy of oxygen/methane-powered rocket technologies and the goal of launching the Orion CEV by 2012.
The Orion CEV was to be launched on the Ares I rocket to low Earth orbit, where it would rendezvous with the Altair lunar surface access module (LSAM) launched on a heavy-lift Ares V launch vehicle for lunar missions.
NASA performed environmental testing of Orion from 2007 to 2011 at the Glenn Research Center Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. The Center's Space Power Facility is the world's largest thermal vacuum chamber.
Launch abort system (LAS) testingEdit
ATK Aerospace successfully completed the first Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) test on November 20, 2008. The LAS motor could provide 500,000 lbf (2,200 kN) of thrust in case an emergency situation should arise on the launch pad or during the first 300,000 feet (91 km) of the rocket's climb to orbit. The 2008 test firing of the LAS was the first time a motor with reverse flow propulsion technology of this scale had ever been tested.[needs update]
On March 2, 2009, a full size, full weight command module mockup (pathfinder) began its journey from the Langley Research Center to the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, for at-gantry launch vehicle assembly training and for LAS testing. On May 10, 2010, NASA successfully executed the LAS PAD-Abort-1 test at White Sands New Mexico, launching a boilerplate (mock-up) Orion capsule to an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet (1,800 m). The test used three solid-fuel rocket motors – a main thrust motor, an attitude control motor and the jettison motor.
Orion splashdown recovery testingEdit
In 2009 during the Constellation phase of the program, the Post-landing Orion Recovery Test (PORT) was designed to determine and evaluate methods of crew rescue and what kind of motions the astronaut crew could expect after landing, including conditions outside the capsule for the recovery team. The evaluation process supported NASA's design of landing recovery operations including equipment, ship and crew needs.
The PORT Test used a full-scale boilerplate (mock-up) of NASA's Orion crew module and was tested in water under simulated and real weather conditions. Tests began March 23, 2009 with a Navy-built, 18,000-pound (8,200 kg) boilerplate in a test pool. Full sea testing ran April 6–30, 2009 at various locations off the coast of NASA's Kennedy Space Center with media coverage.
Cancellation of Constellation programEdit
On May 7, 2009, the Obama administration enlisted the Augustine Commission to perform a full independent review of the ongoing NASA space exploration program. The commission found the then current Constellation Program to be woefully under-budgeted with significant cost overruns, behind schedule by four years or more in several essential components, and unlikely to be capable of meeting any of its scheduled goals. As a consequence, the commission recommended a significant re-allocation of goals and resources. As one of the many outcomes based on these recommendations, on October 11, 2010, the Constellation program was cancelled, ending development of the Altair, Ares I, and Ares V. The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle survived the cancellation and was renamed the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), to be launched on the Space Launch System.
Constellation launches of boilerplate OrionsEdit
|MLAS||July 8, 2009||N/A||MLAS||Success||57 seconds||Test of the Max Launch Abort System using a boilerplate Orion.|
|Ares I-X||October 28, 2009||N/A||Ares I-X||Success||~8 minutes||Ares I-X was the first-stage prototype and design concept demonstrator in the Ares I program.|
Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV)Edit
The Orion development program was restructured from three different versions of the Orion capsule, each for a different task, to the development of the MPCV as a single version capable of performing multiple tasks. On December 5, 2014, a developmental Multi-Purpose spacecraft was successfully launched into space and retrieved at sea after splashdown on the Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1).
Orion splashdown recovery testingEdit
Before EFT-1 in December 2014 several preparatory vehicle recovery tests were performed. Under the Orion program, testing of Orion continued the "crawl, walk, run" approach established by PORT. The "crawl" phase was performed August 12–16, 2013 with the Stationary Recovery Test (SRT). The Stationary Recovery Test demonstrated the recovery hardware and techniques that were to be employed for the recovery of the Orion crew module in the protected waters of Naval Station Norfolk utilizing the LPD-17 type USS Arlington as the recovery ship.
The "walk" and "run" phases were performed with the Underway Recovery Test (URT). Also utilizing a LPD 17 class ship, the URT were performed in more realistic sea conditions off the coast of California in early 2014 to prepare the US Navy / NASA team for recovering the Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) Orion crew module. The URT tests completed the pre-launch test phase of the Orion recovery system.
Exploration Flight Test 1Edit
At 7:05 AM EST on December 5, 2014 the Orion capsule was launched atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket for its first test flight, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 4.5 hours later. Although it was not crewed, the two-orbit flight was NASA's first launch of a human-rated vehicle since the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet in 2011. Orion reached an altitude of 3,600 mi (5,800 km) and speeds of up to 20,000 mph (8,900 m/s) on a flight that tested Orion's heat shield, parachutes, jettisoning components, and on-board computers. Orion was recovered by USS Anchorage and brought to San Diego, California for its return to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Cancelled Asteroid Redirect MissionEdit
This mission would have placed an asteroid in lunar orbit, rather than sending astronauts to an asteroid in deep space. The mission was given its notice of defunding in April 2017. The development of advanced solar electric propulsion technology originally meant for this mission continues for its potential application on the proposed Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.
Launch abort system (LAS) testingEdit
An improved abort engine test was successfully completed on March 30, 2019.
Orion development test flightsEdit
||N/A||Orion Launch Abort System (LAS)||Success||95 seconds|
|Exploration Flight Test 1||
||Success||4 hours 24 minutes|
|Ascent Abort-2||N/A||Orion Abort Test Booster||Success||3 minutes 13 seconds|
As of 2019, Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed Orion lunar flyby launching on SLS between 2020-2021 Artemis 2 will be the first crewed flight of Orion, and Artemis 3 will visit the Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway (LOP-G) before landing on the moon. LOP-G is expected to include a solar-powered communications hub, science laboratory, short-term habitation module, and staging area for rovers and other robots. Various components of the Gateway would be launched on commercial launch vehicles and as Orion co-manifested payloads.
|Mission||Patch||Launch date||Launch pad||Crew||Launch vehicle[b]||Duration[c]|
|Kennedy LC-39B||Uncrewed||SLS Block 1||~25d|
|Artemis 2||2022||Kennedy LC-39B||TBA||SLS Block 1||~9d|
|Artemis 3||2024||Kennedy LC-39B||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d|
|Artemis 4||2025||Kennedy LC-39B||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d|
|Artemis 5||2026||Kennedy LC-39B||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d|
|Artemis 6||2027||Kennedy LC-39B||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d|
|Artemis 8||2028||Kennedy LC-39B||TBA||SLS Block 1B||>60d|
Potential Mars missionsEdit
The Orion capsule is designed to support future missions to send astronauts to Mars, probably to take place in the 2030s. Since the Orion capsule provides only about 2.25 m3 (79 cu ft) of living space per crew member, the use of an additional Deep Space Habitat module featuring propulsion will be needed for long duration missions. The complete spacecraft stack is known as the Deep Space Transport. The habitat module will provide additional space and supplies, as well as facilitate spacecraft maintenance, mission communications, exercise, training, and personal recreation. Some concepts for DSH modules would provide approximately 70.0 m3 (2,472 cu ft) of living space per crew member, though the DSH module is in its early conceptual stage. DSH sizes and configurations may vary slightly, depending on crew and mission needs. The mission may launch in the mid-2030s or late-2030s. 
- Exploration of Mars
- NASA Authorization Act of 2010
- Nautilus-X (not currently funded)
- Space Exploration Vehicle
- Space policy of the Barack Obama administration
- Space Shuttle retirement#Current and future Space Shuttle successors
Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) 1, 2, and CCiCap (formerly CCDev 3) related:
- Other crewed spacecraft
- Serial number displayed in parentheses.
- Serial number displayed in parentheses.
- Time displayed in days, hours, minutes, and seconds.
- "NASA Authorization Act of 2010". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Bergin, Chris (July 10, 2012). "NASA ESD set key Orion requirement based on Lunar missions". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "Orion Quick facts" (PDF). NASA. August 4, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Moskowitz, Clara (November 2014). "Deep Space or Bust". Scientific American. 311 (6): 20. Bibcode:2014SciAm.311f..20M. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1214-20.
- "Preliminary Report Regarding NASA's Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle" (PDF). NASA. January 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Bergin, Chris. "EFT-1 Orion completes assembly and conducts FRR". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "NASA - A 21st Century-Style Return to the Moon". www.nasa.gov.
- J. Foust (September 16, 2015). "First Crewed Orion Mission May Slip to 2023". Space News. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- Berger, Eric (July 28, 2016). "A new, independent review of the Orion spacecraft is pretty damning". Ars Technica. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
- Peterson, L. (2009). "Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS)" (PDF). ntrs.nasa.gov. Ames Research Center: NASA. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
- "NASA Goes 'Green': Next Spacecraft to be Reusable – Orion Capsule". Space.com.
- "NASA – Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle" (PDF) (Press release). NASA. February 7, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- "Lockheed to build Nasa 'Moonship'". BBC News. August 31, 2006. Retrieved March 1, 2007.
- "NASA Names New Crew Exploration Vehicle Orion" (Press release). NASA. August 22, 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
- "NASA Selects Material for Orion Spacecraft Heat Shield" (Press release). NASA Ames Research Center. April 7, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2009.
- Coppinger, Rob (October 6, 2006). "NASA Orion crew vehicle will use voice controls in Boeing 787-style Honeywell smart cockpit". Flight International. Retrieved October 6, 2006.
- "Orion landings to be splashdowns – KSC buildings to be demolished". NASA SpaceFlight.com. August 5, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
- "NASA Denies Making Orion Water Landing Decision – and Deleting Touchdowns on Land". NASA Watch. August 6, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- "NASA Announces Key Decision For Next Deep Space Transportation System". NASA. May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Hill, Denise (July 23, 2019). "S.A.M. Goes to Work Aboard ISS". NASA. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
- "US and Europe plan new spaceship". BBC News. May 5, 2011. Archived from the original on May 6, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- "ATV evolution studies look at exploration, debris removal". Spaceflight Now. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
- "Airbus Defence and Space awarded two ATV evolution studies from ESA". Astrium. June 21, 2012. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
- Bergin, Chris (November 21, 2012). "UK steps up, as ESA commit to ATV Service Module on NASA's Orion". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle – European Service Module for NASA's Orion programme". Airbus Defense and Space. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- "NASA Signs Agreement for a European-Provided Orion Service Module". nasa.gov. January 16, 2013. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- Cody Zoller (December 1, 2015). "NASA to begin testing Orion's European Service Module". NASA SpaceFlight. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Airbus Defence and Space wins 200 million euros ESA contract for second service module for NASA’s Orion crewed space capsule. Airbus Defense and Space press release. February 16, 2017.
- "Mission to the Moon: How We'll Go Back – and Stay This Time". popularmechanics.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008. Retrieved February 8, 2008.
- Mika McKinnon (firstname.lastname@example.org) (December 4, 2014). "Meet Orion, NASA's New Deep Space Explorer". Space.io9.com. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Launch Abort System Jettison Motor | Aerojet Rocketdyne". Rocket.com. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "ATK Awarded Contract for Orion Launch Abort Motors". PRNewswire. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012.
- "Orion's New Launch Abort Motor Test Stand Ready for Action". NASA.
- Rhian, Jason (July 17, 2018). "Jettison Motor Readied For Integration Into Orion's LAS". spaceflightinsider.com. Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
The jettison motor separates the LAS from the Orion capsule on its way to orbit.
- Wall, Mike (May 24, 2011). "NASA Unveils New Spaceship for Deep Space Exploration". Space.com. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- Moen, Marina M. "Feasibility of Orion Crew Module Entry on Half of Available Propellant Due to Tank Isolation Fault". American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. NASA Langley Research Center. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- "Michoud Assembly Facility Lockheed Martin Webpage". NASA. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- "ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft / Research / Human Spaceflight / Our Activities / ESA". Esa.int. January 16, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Bergin, Chris (March 15, 2014). "EFT-1 Orion slips to December – Allows military satellite to launch first". nasaspaceflight.com. NASAspaceflight.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- Clark, Stephen (March 15, 2014). "Launch schedule shakeup delays Orion to December". spaceflightnow.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "Orion Exploration Flight Test-1". aerospaceguide.net. January 11, 2014. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- Fountain, Henry (December 5, 2014). "NASA's Orion Spacecraft Splashes Down in Pacific After Test Flight". New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- "NASA New Start Inflation Indices". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "FY 2008 Budget Estimates" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. ESMD-25. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Estimates" (PDF). National Aeronautics and space Administration. p. iv. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Estimates" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. v. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "FY 2013 President's Budget Request Summary" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. BUD-4. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "FY 2014 President's Budget Request Summary" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. BUD-8. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "FY 2015 President's Budget Request Summary" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. BUD-5. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "FY 2016 President's Budget Request Summary" (PDF). National Aeronautics and space Administration. p. BUD-5. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "FY 2017 Budget Estimates" (PDF). nasa.gov. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. BUD-4. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "FY 2018 Budget Estimates" (PDF). nasa.gov. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. BUD-3. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "Public Law 115-31, 115th Congress" (PDF). congress.gov. p. 213.
- "2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act" (PDF). congress.gov. p. 82.
- "NASA Actions Needed to Improve Transparency and Assess Long Term Affordability of Human Exploration Programs" (PDF). General Accounting Office. May 2014. p. 2. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Smith, Marcia (January 17, 2013). "NASA-ESA Agreement on Orion Service Module is For Only One Unit Plus Spares". spacepolicyonline.com. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- Clark, Stephen (December 3, 2014). "ESA member states commit funding for Orion service module". spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "NASA's Ground Systems Development and Operations Program Completes Preliminary Design Review". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "FY 2016 President's Budget Request Summary" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. BUD-5. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "FY 2019 Budget Estimates" (PDF). nasa.gov. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. BUD-2. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- Clark, Stephen (September 16, 2015). "Orion spacecraft may not fly with astronauts until 2023". spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Smith, Marcia (May 1, 2014). "Mikulski "Deeply Troubled" by NASA's Budget Request; SLS Won't Use 70 Percent JCL". spacepolicyonline.com. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Berger, Eric (August 19, 2016). "How much will SLS and Orion cost to fly? Finally some answers". arstechnica.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- Berger, Eric (October 20, 2017). "NASA chooses not to tell Congress how much deep space missions cost". arstechnica.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "NASA Extreme Makeover—Space Vehicle Mockup Facility". nasa.gov. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- Bergin, Chris (October 9, 2011). "NASA managers "serious" about ATV role as Orion Service Module". nasaspaceflight.com. NASAspaceflight.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin Delivers Orion Spacecraft To NASA Kennedy Space Center, Press release, Denver, July 2, 2012
- "What Goes Up Must Come Down As Orion Crew Vehicle Development Continues". Space-travel.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "Orion Continues to Make a Splash". Space-travel.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "Orion Drop Test – Jan. 06, 2012". Space-travel.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Bergin, Chris (November 6, 2011). "NASA managers approve EFT-1 flight as Orion pushes for orbital debut". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Bergin, Chris (October 17, 2011). "Space-bound Orion taking shape – "Lunar Surface First" missions referenced". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "NASA Conducts Orion Parachute Testing for Orbital Test Flight". Space-travel.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Bergin, Chris (February 10, 2012). "Orion hoping for success with second generation parachute system". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Bergin, Chris (February 26, 2012). "Orion PTV preparing for drop test on Wednesday – EFT-1 Orion progress". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "NASA Conducts New Parachute Test for Orion". Space-travel.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "Orion parachutes preparing for another milestone drop test on April 17 | NASASpaceFlight.com". www.nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- "President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration Program" (Press release). White House Office of the Press Secretary. January 14, 2004. Retrieved September 1, 2006.
- "Orion Spacecraft – Nasa Orion Spacecraft". aerospaceguide.net.
- "NASA Names New Crew Exploration Vehicle Orion" (Press release). NASA. August 22, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Handlin, Daniel; Bergin, Chris (October 11, 2006). "NASA sets Orion 13 for Moon Return". NASAspaceflight.com. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
- Handlin, Daniel; Bergin, Chris (July 22, 2006). "NASA makes major design changes to CEV". NASAspaceflight.com. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
- "NASA Names Orion Contractor". NASA. August 31, 2006. Retrieved September 5, 2006.
- "NASA Glenn To Test Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle". SpaceDaily.
- "NASA: Constellation Abort Test November 2008". Nasa.gov. December 11, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- "NASA Orion LAS Pathfinder". Nasa.gov. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- "NASA Completes Test of Orion Crew Capsule". foxnews.com. May 6, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- "NASA Orion PORT Test". Nasa.gov. March 25, 2009. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Augustine Commission Final Report Published 22 Oct. 2009. Retrieved 14 Dec. 2014
- NASA in Obama's Hands Information Addict Website, by Nathaniel Downes. Published 18 June 2012. Retrieved 14 Dec 2014
- "Today – President Signs NASA 2010 Authorization Act". Universetoday.com. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- What is NASA's Constellation Program? Sciences 360 Website, By Tenebris. Discussion of multiple version development of Orion capsule. Published Nov. 17, 2009. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2014
- "Orion Spacecraft Complete". NASA. October 30, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
- Fountain, Henry (December 5, 2014). "NASA's Orion Spacecraft Splashes Down in Pacific After Test Flight". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- "NASA & US Navy Test Demonstrates Water Recovery of Orion Crew Capsule". Universetoday.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "NASA's New Orion Spacecraft Completes First Spaceflight Test". NASA.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- "Orion Off-loaded for Trip Back to Florida". NASA.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Space, Next Steps in Human Exploration to Mars and Beyond, May 21, 2013.
- Jeff Foust (June 14, 2017). "NASA closing out Asteroid Redirect Mission". Space News. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Cawley, James (July 2, 2019). "Launch Abort System Demonstrates Ability to Pull Astronauts to Safety". nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- Strickland, Ashley (July 2, 2019). "NASA tests abort system for the Orion spacecraft that will carry humans to the moon in 2024". cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- Brown, Katherine (July 2, 2019). "Successful Orion Test Brings NASA Closer to Moon, Mars Missions". NASA. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- "NASA administrator on recent personnel shakeup: 'There's no turmoil at all'". July 12, 2019.
- "NASA's large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021". July 17, 2019.
- Jackson, Shanessa (September 11, 2018). "Competition Seeks University Concepts for Gateway and Deep Space Exploration Capabilities". nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Godwin, Curt (April 1, 2017). "NASA's human spaceflight plans come into focus with announcement of Deep Space Gateway". Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- "NASA's large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021". July 17, 2019.
- Berger 2019, [Illustration] "NASA's "notional" plan for a human return to the Moon by 2024, and an outpost by 2028."
- "Preliminary Report Regarding NASA's Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle" (PDF). NASA. January 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
- NASA Unveils the Keys to Getting Astronauts to Mars and Beyond. Neel V. Patel, The Inverse. April 4, 2017.
- Habitat for Long Duration Deep Space Missions Preliminary design proposal for DSH by Rucker & Thompson. Published 5 May 2012, retrieved 8 Dec. 2014
- 2012 X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge Progress Update Nasa DSH design news update. Published June 21, 2012, retrieved 8 Dec. 2014