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NASA's Orion space vessel is bound to carry space explorers for the next years to come with regards to the preparation for the missions to Mars. The initial launches of the vessel will take place during the Artemis mission, where experts are expected to revisit our planet's own moon.

Orion and Artemis Missions

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(Photo : Rad Sinyak, NASA / WikiCommons)

The Artemis I development is nearly on its final stage, while its predecessor Artemis II is in progress. Both projects are being managed by a lot of experts that are putting their utmost effort in the hopes to go through the upcoming missions smoothly without any problems. In addition to the first two space vehicles, a third vessel called Artemis III was fused with the Orion pressure vessel that will serve as a crew module for future missions. The capsule will have an airtight feature to secure the conditions of the experts that will go out to the space. The new modification of the Orion is made possible through the first partnership of the US space agency with one of the leading space service contractors, Lockheed Martin.

Astronautical engineer and Orion's program manager Catherine Koerner said that NASA is slowly transitioning the Orion spacecraft from the development to the production phase. The spacecraft will undergo several tests in order to function at its best over a long time while on the moon's premises.

Orion's development phase, according to Space Coast Daily, consists of several stages to confirm that the preferred conditions of the vessel are met. The categories of the development phase include the design, development, test, and evaluation or DDT&E. The rigorous examination will ensure that the spacecraft is indeed fit for the mission and is less likely to fail during the program.

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NASA's Confidence in Orion

Orion program's chief of staff Stu McClung said that their intensive research and examination is poured into the design of the spacecraft. The structure of Orion is well crafted and the experts anticipate the best outcome from the overall mission aboard the vessel. McClung said that with the completion of the development phase, Orion's assembly will now proceed to the production phase.

Before the transition to the production phase, Orion's DDT&E have already passed the initial examinations which put the confidence of the experts working on the vessel at a fail-proof level. Among the first examinations of the Orion was the Exploration Flight Test-1 which was conducted back in 2014 and was launched to Earth's high-orbit. During this test, Orion's shield was among the main interest, as it will protect both equipment and individuals upon re-entry in the atmospheric regions and to the planet's surface.

Orion's re-entry and recovery stages are also studied alongside the vessel's parachute system. Moreover, the emergency system of the spacecraft known as the Pad Abort-1 and Ascent Abort-2 was also secured in case of an unwanted anomaly during the missions. To ensure that all of Orion's functions will work on the Artemis mission, an in-space environment simulation was performed along with other tests conducted with the space craft.

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