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Orion/Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Program

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.

ORION/MULTI-PURPOSE CREW VEHICLE PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

stackingThe 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

ORION/MULTI-PURPOSE CREW VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS

propulsionPropulsion
Abort Motor, Attitude Control Motor, High Burn Rate Propellant for Solid Rocket Motors
BenefitsHigh reliability launch abort, steerable solid rocket motors
avionicAvionics
Algorithmic Autocode Generation, Standard Operating System, Baseband Processor, High Speed/High Density Memory Devices, Honeywell HX5000 Northstar ASIC
BenefitsLow cost, high performance, open architecture
navigationNavigation
Atmospheric Skip Entry, Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking, Fast Acquisition GPS Receiver, High Density Camera Sensors
BenefitsLow cost, high reliability, autonomous docking
communicationsCommunications
C3I – Standard Communications, Communication Network Router Card, Digital Video Recorder
BenefitsLow cost, high reliability, open architecture
ls&sLife Support & Safety
Backup and Survival Systems, Closed Loop Life Support, Contingency Land Landing, Enhanced Waste Management, Environmental Control, Hazard Detection, Isolation and Recovery
BenefitsLow consumables, long mission duration, high reliability, low operations cost
structuresStructures
Composite Spacecraft Structures, Human Rated Spacecraft Primary Structures Development, Advanced Manufacturing
BenefitsLow cost, Low mass
thermalThermal Protection Systems
Ablative Heatshield with Composite Carrier Structure
BenefitsLow cost, high reliability, high energy (Beyond LEO) reentry
powerPower
Column Grid Array Packaging (CGA), Direct Energy Power Transfer System
BenefitsLow cost, high reliability, low mass, long mission duration