Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute


NASA Spacecraft Making Cross-Country Voyage

June 20, 2011
Source: NASA

This image of the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which will be NASA’s deep space crew module based on the original work on the Orion capsule, was taken at the Lockheed Martin Vertical Test Facility in Colorado. Credit:  Lockheed Martin.NASA is inviting the public to view a test version of the agency’s next spacecraft that will carry humans into deep space.

The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which NASA announced last month would be the agency’s deep space crew module based on the original work on the Orion capsule, is making three stops as it travels by truck from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first stop was June 15–16 at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona; the next two stops are
June 19–20 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas, and June 24–25 at the Tallahassee Challenger Learning Center in Florida. The module will also be on display June 29–July 4 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

During a test flight in New Mexico last year, a new launch abort system propelled the spacecraft off the launch pad to a speed of almost 445 mph in three seconds. The spacecraft then parachuted to the desert floor.

The test module eventually will be moved to Kennedy’s Operations and Checkout Facility for further study. The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle’s propulsion, life support, thermal protection, and avionics systems will ultimately enable astronauts to travel for extended deep space missions and return safely to Earth.

To learn more about the development of the vehicle, visit

NASA Exploration:  Expanding Human Presence Into the Solar System


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