New role for moon capsule good news for Colorado jobs | SkyHiNews.com

New role for moon capsule good news for Colorado jobs

DENVER (AP) – NASA’s announcement of a new name and role for the Orion space capsule is welcome news in Colorado, where about 750 Lockheed Martin employees, subcontractors and suppliers are working on the project.

Orion was originally part of the Constellation program to return humans to the moon. President Barack Obama scrapped that project but spared Orion for possible use as an escape pod for the space station.

NASA said Tuesday Orion would be used to carry four astronauts on 21-day missions outside Earth’s orbit, possibly to an asteroid.

NASA is renaming it the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

Design and engineering work on the capsule is being done by Lockheed Martin at two locations in the Denver area. Final assembly on a ground test version is also under way in Colorado.

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