As part of a new agreement between the two space agencies, the European Space Agency will provide the service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Image taken from a video released Jan. 16, 2013.
The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle being assembled and tested at Lockheed Martin's Vertical Testing Facility in Colorado
A heavy-lift rocket carrying NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle launches on the Exploration Test Flight 1 in this still from a NASA video. The test flight, targeted for 2014, would test vital Orion systems and re-entry techniques for deep space missions to an asteroid or elsewhere.
See how NASA's new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, based on the Orion capsule, stacks up against other crewed spaceships in this SPACE.com infographic.
The Orion spacecraft separates from its booster in this NASA animation still for the Exploration Test Flight 1, a 2014 fligth demonstration to test Orion systems and re-entry capabilities for future deep space flights. NASA's Orion capsule will be the agency's go-to vehicle to send astronauts on deep space voyages to an asteroid.
This NASA still from a depiction of the Orion Exploration Flight Test 1 shows protective panels separating from the Orion spacecraft during its trip to orbit.
NASA's first Orion space capsule ascends into orbit in this still from a NASA animation depicting the unmanned Exploration Flight Test 1 mission to test spacecraft systems and re-entry capabilities.
NASA's first Orion space capsule orbits the Earth in this still from a NASA animation depicting the unmanned Exploration Flight Test 1 mission to test spacecraft systems and re-entry capabilities.
The moon appears behind NASA's first Orion space capsule in this view from a NASA animation depicting the unmanned Exploration Flight Test 1 mission to check out critical re-entry and flight systems.
NASA's Orion spacecraft would fly up to 5,000 miles above Earth at its highest point during the two-orbit Exploration Flight Test 1 mission, a robotic fligth to check out Orion flight and re-entry systems.
This still from a NASA video shows the view of Earth outside the Orion space capsule's window during its two-orbit Exploration Flight Test 1, an unmanned demonstration flight to test critical flight and re-entry systems.
This NASA animation still shows the Orion capsule separating from its rocket during the Exploration Flight Test-1, an unmanned flight demonstration targeted for 2014 to test the Orion vehicle and re-entry systems.
NASA's Orion space capsule streaks through Earth's atmosphere in this NASA animation still from a video depiction of the Exploration Flight Test 1. The unmanned test flight will send an unmanned Orion capsule plunging toward Earth at about 20,000 mph, about 84 percent of the speed experienced during NASA's returning Apollo moon ships.
Drogue parachutes deploy to slow NASA's Orion space capsule down after re-entry in this still from an animation of the unmanned Exploration Test Flight 1 demonstration flight.
Three main parachutes will slow NASA's Orion spacecraft for the final splashdown at the end of the Exploration Flight Test 1, an unmanned demonstration flight to test critical in-flight and re-entry systems.
Construction on the first space-bound Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Module began with the first weld at the Michoud Assembly Facility on Sept. 9. 2011. This capsule will be used during Orion's first test flight in space.