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Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle


Drawing from more than 50 years of spaceflight research and development, the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) is designed to meet the evolving needs of our nation's beyond low Earth orbit space exploration program for decades to come.

The MPCV features dozens of technology advancements and innovations that have been incorporated into the spacecraft's subsystem and component design. The MPCV spacecraft includes both crew and service modules, a spacecraft adaptor, and a revolutionary launch abort system that will signifcantly increase crew safety.

The MPCV's unique life support, propulsion, thermal protection and avionics systems in combination with other deep space elements will enable extended duration deep space missions. These systems have been developed to facilitate integration of new technical innovations as they become available in the future.

The MPCV is capable of transporting astronauts on a variety of expeditions beyond low Earth orbit – ushering in a new era of space exploration.

Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Development

stacking


The past 18 months of development have yielded phenomenal accomplishments by the NASA-industry team. The flawless fight test of the launch abort system - one of only four ever developed and own in the world - was a signifcant achievement. The advanced technologies developed for this system enable state- of-the-art crew survivability in the event an emergency occurs during launch or ascent to orbit. In addition, the team fabricated the world’s largest heat shield structure, demonstrated an inventive new navigation and docking system, validated Orion’s assembly and production operations, completed the first spaceflight worthy Orion crew module, and made signifcant progress on Orion’s thermal protection and software systems. All of this work will result in creating the MPCV, the only U.S. spacecraft in development for deep space exploration that meets NASA’s stringent human rating requirements.

Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Systems

mpcv systems

Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Technology Innovations

propulsion Propulsion
Abort Motor, Attitude Control Motor, High Burn Rate Propellant for Solid
Rocket Motors

Benefits
High reliability launch abort, steerable solid rocket motors
avionics Avionics
Algorithmic Autocode Generation, Standard
Operating System, Baseband Processor, High Speed/High Density Memory Devices,
Honeywell HX5000 Northstar ASIC


Benefits
Low cost, high performance, open architecture
       
navigation Navigation
Atmospheric Skip Entry, Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking, Fast Acquisition GPS Receiver, High Density
Camera Sensors


Benefits
Low cost, high reliability, autonomous docking
communications Communications
C3I - Standard Communications, Communication Network Router Card, Digital Video Recorder

Benefits
Low cost, high reliability, open architecture
       
life support & safety Life Support & Safety
Backup and Survival Systems, Closed Loop Life Support, Contingency Land Landing, Enhanced Waste Management, Environmental Control,
Hazard Detection, Isolation and Recovery

Benefits
Low consumables, long mission duration, high reliability, low operations cost
structures Structures
Composite Spacecraft Structures, Human Rated
Spacecraft Primary Structures Development, Advanced Manufacturing


Benefits
Low cost, Low mass
       
thermal protection Thermal Protection System
Ablative Heatshield with Composite Carrier Structure

Benefits
Low cost, high reliability, high energy (Beyond LEO) reentry
power Power
Column Grid Array Packaging (CGA), Direct Energy Power Transfer System

Benefits
Low cost, high reliability, low mass, long mission duration
Orion Featured Videos

Launch Abort System
PAD Abort System

Pad Abort 1, a flight test being conducted to validate the Orion crew exploration vehicle’s launch abort system, will be conducted at the Orion Abort Flight Test launch complex 32E at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, N.M.
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Launch Abort System
Launch Abort System / Computational Fluid Dynamics

NASA engineers rigorously test flight hardware in the real world, in labs and wind tunnels. They also use information about hardware from models developed with computer-based tools, such as CFD or Computational Fluid Dynamics.
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Pallet Vibration Testing
Pallet Vibration Testing

In their ongoing work to develop the Orion launch vehicle service module, engineers and researchers of the NASA Glenn Pallet test team are working to reduce the effects of high acoustic loading, or pressure exerted on the test vehicle by high energy engine noise.
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ACE Engine Testing(A)
ACE Engine Testing(A)

White Sands is partnering with the Glenn Research Center in performing the ACE engine test. ACE stands for attitude control engine.
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ACE Engine Testing(B)
ACE Engine Testing(B)

White Sands is partnering with the Glenn Research Center in performing the ACE engine test. ACE stands for attitude control engine
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R4-D-11 rocket engine
R4-D-11 rocket engine

NASA Glenn Research Center engineers are actively engaged with the Orion prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, and its subcontractor, Aerojet, in development testing of the R4-D-11 rocket engine planned for use on the Orion crew exploration vehicle.
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Radiator Stall
Radiator Stall

NASA and its contractor team reanalyzed several new designs, and as a result of that analysis cycle, a new, commercially available radiator fluid has been chosen for Orion.
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Umbilical Connection
Umbilical Connection

The NASA Glenn Research center in Cleveland, Ohio is assisting in the development of this umbilical connection and its release magnesium through studies taking place on a test stand at the lab.
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Vacco Valve
Vacco Valve

As part of NASA's ongoing effort to develop the new Orion Crew Exploration vehicle, a propulsion team at the Glenn Research Center performed a series of vibration tests on a new variable speed, low mass, low leakage propellant isolation valve.
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