Saturday, March 03, 2007

Project Constellation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Project Constellation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Project Constellation is NASA's current plan for space exploration as of August 2006. It consists of a family of new spacecraft, launchers and associated hardware that allow for a variety of missions, from Space Station resupply, to lunar landings. Most of the Constellation hardware is based on systems originally developed for the Space Shuttle, although the key hardware, the Orion Spacecraft (formerly known as the 'Crew Exploration Vehicle' or CEV), is heavily influenced by the earlier Apollo Spacecraft, using a two-part crew and service module system. Proposed Constellation missions may employ both Earth Orbit Rendezvous and Lunar Orbit Rendezvous techniques.

The program's vehicle concept can be broken down into three parts: The Orion Crew & Service Modules, the Lunar Surface Access Module, and the launch vehicles (LV). The launch vehicles proposed for use in the program include the unmanned Ares V (for launch of the Earth Departure Stage and either the LSAM or cargo), the manned Ares I LV (for launch of the Orion spacecraft), and the Ares IV, which combines the functions of the two."

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