Bon Voyage

Look: Virtual tour of Orion, the spacecraft carrying humans to the Moon in 2024

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NASA via Giphy

November 2021 will be a big month for NASA.

The Artemis I team is gearing up to launch the spacecraft Orion to the Moon and back for an uncrewed test flight.

Artemis I lays the groundwork for NASA’s first crewed mission to the Moon since the Apollo days — with the ultimate goal of using Orion to land humans on the lunar surface in 2024.

Here’s NASA’s timeline of the Artemis mission, which will take place over the span of four years.



Here a virtual tour of Orion, in 10 images:

9. A technician applies ablative material to Orion’s heat shield, which is designed to protect humans from blazing temperatures during atmospheric re-entry.

NASA/Isaac Watson

8. This aerial shot, shared by NASA in August 2021, shows an adapter with several small satellites inside that will help gather data during the mission.

NASA/Cory Huston

7. This piece of Orion’s pressure vessel, which helps maintain a pressurized environment for astronauts, will be attached to the craft for the crewed Artemis III mission in 2024.

NASA Orion Spacecraft via Twitter

6. A technician at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Louisiana assembles part of the pressure vessel for Artemis III.

NASA Orion Spacecraft via Flickr

5. The Orion capsule undergoes testing at the Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook Station in Ohio in March 2020.

NASA/Bridgett Caswell

4. Technicians stand near the Artemis I Orion spacecraft after final assembly in January 2021.

NASA Orion Spacecraft via Flickr

3. This is a shot of the crew module on Orion, which at the time was undergoing acoustics testing in May 2019.

NASA/Rad Sinyak

2. This is Artemis I’s crew and service module after final assembly in November 2019, right before it was sent off to facilities in Ohio for environmental testing.

NASA/Rad Sinyak

1. Engineers test the crew module off the coast of North Carolina in March 2019 to ensure that it can flip right-side up after landing in the ocean.

NASA Orion Spacecraft via Flickr


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