What makes the Orion Space Launch the most iconic space launch of this century ? We could state a hundred reasons as to why this one space flight will change the future of space travel as a whole. The Orion space craft is not just any spacecraft, it is a culmination of ideas brought to reality by engineers from NASA and Lockheed Martin working together to build a spacecraft to take humans far beyond the bounds of space we have ever imagined to explore.

The Apollo space program was the first space program that fueled the need for humans to physically explore space beyond the planet earth and they accomplished that through the Apollo 11 launch and its crew of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin who became the first humans to walk the lunar surface of the moon. While we conquered the first step to going above and beyond the earths orbit, NASA decided that unmanned missions were more feasible and then proceeded to launch 2 of the Voyager probes into space and move onto concentrating on the space shuttle program. This bought interplanetary space missions to a stall due to the massive risks involved in sending humans further into space and the constaints with the technology available at that time.

After the Apollo, the second manned space program was the space shuttle program which became the most iconic accomplishment of the last century as it was the first spacecraft which was reusable and also frequently launchable. During this period of time in the 90’s the space walk was made reality, being able to construct and repair in space became possible. While all of this was taking place, NASA was continuously working on the exploring habitable planets within our solar system and Mars struct out and so started a new thirst for learning more about the distant earth like red planet.

In 2006 after two successfully unmanned missions to Mars, NASA decided it was time to make manned interplanetary space flights reality. The Orion space program was born and its aim being, to transport humans to interplanetary destinations beyond low Earth orbit such as Mars and Asteroids at the same time protecting the Astronauts against 3 elements which are extreme space radiation, extremely low temperatures and finally severely high temperatures.

Humans thirst for knowledge and their passion to exploration is what has fueled the Orion Space program that it has finally become a reality in such a short period of time. The Orion space program will forever change the limits and bounds of space travel for humans as we look for similar earth like planets and life across the solar system and galaxy, this is what really makes the this program an important milestone in space exploration.

Fact Sheet:

  • The Apollo Space Program ran from 1961 to 1972 and was the first program to land humans on the moon and had a total of 6 space flights in that period
  • The Space Shuttle program ran from 1981-2011 and was the first program to make the use of a airplane like shuttle which was reusable, it was the first space program to make the space walk possible.
  • The main aim of the Space Shuttle program was to help construct the space station and repair satellites with the ability to travel into space more frequently, the space shuttle made 135 successful flights.
  • The Orion space program went out of its conceptual phase in 2006 when Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to design and build the Orion Module.
  • The Orion spacecraft is the first spacecraft that is capable of interplanetary space missions and carrying humans beyond the earths orbit to other planets and even asteroids.