NASA Brings Orion Spacecraft To National Mall For Public Viewing

NASA will showcase the next generation of spacecraft that will return humans to the moon in a day-long public event March 30 on the National Mall in Washington. The full-size mockup of the Orion crew exploration vehicle will be parked on the Mall between 4th and 7th Streets, SW, in front of the National Air and Space Museum. Reporters are invited to attend a briefing by the vehicle at 10 a.m. EDT.

The spacecraft mockup is on its way from water testing at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division in Bethesda to open water testing in the Atlantic off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The goal of the operation, dubbed the Post-landing Orion Recovery Test, or PORT, is to determine what kind of motions the astronaut crew can expect after landing, as well as conditions outside for the recovery team.

NASA engineers and personnel will be available all day at the National Mall event to answer questions about the Orion crew module and the Constellation program.

Orion is targeted to begin carrying humans to the International Space Station in 2015 and to the moon in 2020. Along with the Ares I and Ares V rockets and the Altair lunar lander, it is part of the Constellation Program that is developing the country's next capability for human exploration of the moon and further destinations in the solar system.

For more information about the Orion crew capsule, visit:

For information about the Constellation Program, visit:

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