As collectSPACE.comfirst reported last month, NASA's new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and moonlanding program is expected to adopt the moniker Orion.The space agency hasn't yet announced the name, but a logo bearing the titlehas now been seen in a NASA internal document that labels the insignia as"approved".
The triangular logo, which could be meant to resemble theshape of the new crewed capsule, has a blue background and white stars that arearranged to form the constellationOrion.
The three stars that are associated with Orion's"belt" are enlarged and appear over a trailing, red orbital vectorthat extends back and around a blue globe. The planet serves as the"O" in the otherwise plainly type-faced title "Orion".
The NASA document containing the logo is itself entitled"Project Orion Logo Approved" and is identified as being associatedwith (or for) NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle Project Office.
The Orion logo is the fourth to be associated with NASA'snew exploration program. Prior insignias have included a design for theagency's Office of Exploration Systems, a Constellation Program emblem and, aswas revealed in June, a logo for Project Ares, the rockets that will launchOrion and its lunar lander.
NASA's first lunar landing program, Apollo used a circularemblem that featured an enlarged "A". The letter's cross stroke wasformed by the three stars of the constellation Orion.
Under Project Orion, NASAplans to launch crews of four to six astronauts aboard Orion capsules, first toorbit the Earth and the International Space Station and then later to the Moon.
Two teams, one led by Lockheed Martin and the other a jointeffort by Northrop Grumman and The Boeing Co. are currently competing to buildthe CEV. NASA is expected to select the winner in the coming weeks.
- NASA Names Rockets for Moon and Mars Missions
- Project Orion to Follow Apollo to the Moon
- Apollo 11: A Look Back in Pictures
- The Story of Apollo 11
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Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for Space.com and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.