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The Orion Space Capsule: NASA's Next Spaceship (Photos)

Orion Stops in Front of Vehicle Assembly Building

NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA's Orion spacecraft passes in front of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo released Nov. 11, 2014.

Astronauts Training for Orion Capsule Simulator

NASA

Astronauts Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman work with simulation instructor Juan Garriga (center) to prepare for their first ascent simulation inside a mockup of NASA’s new Orion spacecraft at Johnson Space Center. Image released Sept. 26, 2013.

Orion at the White House

Joel Kowsky/NASA

The Orion capsule was seen sitting on the White House's South Lawn on July 22, 2018. [Orion Capsule Turns Heads on White House Lawn (Photos)]

Orion capsule arrives at White House

Joel Kowsky/NASA

The Orion capsule needed to be lifted over the fence surrounding the White House for the vessel's display day on July 22, 2018. [Orion Capsule Turns Heads on White House Lawn (Photos)]

Recovery Test

NASA/Bill White

A test model of NASA's new Orion crew vehicle, which will eventually carry astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, is pulled into the well deck of the U.S.S. Anchorage during Underway Recovery Test 6 on Jan. 18. This type of testing is done to help NASA improve recovery procedures and spacecraft hardware before Orion's next flight, Exploration Mission 1, after which it will splash down in the Pacific Ocean.

Orion Crew Module Uprighting System

NASA

The crew module uprighting system on the Orion spacecraft uses five airbags on top of the capsule to help turn the capsule right side up in case it gets knocked over during a rough landing. These airbags have been tested at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Static Fire Test of Orion Spacecraft

Orbital ATK

A static fire test of the abort motor for NASA's Orion human space capsule, conducted by Orbital ATK on June 15, 2017.

How Orion Capsule's First Flight Test Works (Infographic)

By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

NASA's first Orion spacecraft will fly to a distance of 3,600 miles (5,800 kilometers) in space in order to test its heat shield and resistance to radiation. See how NASA's EFT-1 Orion spacecraft test flight works in this Space.com infographic.

NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Explained (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com contributor

NASA's Orion deep-space capsule is slated to be the go-to spacecraft for missions to an asteroid and beyond. See how NASA's Orion spacecraft will work in this Space.com infographic.

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.