Lockheed’s Patrick McKenzie Answers Questions on Orion

Officials at Lockheed Martin say the Orion crew vehicle, NASA’s Moon-bound successor to the space shuttle, will combine retro-1960s and cutting-edge aerospace technologies.

The Apollo program, which sent a dozen men to the Moon, ended in 1972. It’s so long ago that fewer than half of all Americans are old enough to have watched one of its missions on live TV. Yet some of the technology behind Apollo is about to be brought out of retirement for NASA’s return to the Moon, scheduled for 2020.

The agency’s new system for traveling to Earth orbit, and later to the Moon and Mars, dubbed The Constellation Program, essentially duplicates the Moon mission technologies proposed by Wernher von Braun in the late 1950s and used in the Apollo program.… Read the rest