Contractor to Design, Develop and Build Orion Named on Aug 31

NASA Exploration Systems’ managers will host a press conference at 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 31, to announce the prime contractor to design, develop, and build Orion, America’s next human spacecraft.

The press conference will be in the NASA headquarters auditorium, 300 E Street S.W., Washington. It will air live on the Web and on NASA TV. Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations. Reporters should coordinate with local agency centers by 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 30 for access information.

Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Scott Horowitz, Exploration Deputy Associate Administrator Doug Cooke, Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley, and CEV Project Manager Caris A. (Skip) Hatfield will announce the selection and discuss the program.

Orion is the vehicle NASA is developing to carry a new generation of explorers back to the moon and later to Mars. Orion will succeed the space shuttle as NASA’s primary vehicle for human space exploration. Orion’s first flight with astronauts aboard is planned for no later than 2014 to the International Space Station. Its first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020.

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