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NASA committed to human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit

NASA committed to human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit

NEW YORK: NASA said they are “committed to human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO) and the continued progress of the next age group spacecraft—Orion. The Orion spacecraft will take astronauts beyond LEO to deep space.
Jay Lindell, of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, said “The Orion program is a great example of Colorado’s center stage in the space industry. We are a leader in the nation in aerospace employment, technology development, and our Colorado industry—supported by superb universities—leads the way with the Orion program.”
Their next launch, however, is the unmanned Orion mission (known as also the Exploration Flight Test 1 or EFT-1), which is schedule for launch later this week.
“EFT-1 is absolutely the biggest thing that this agency is going to do this year,” reports Bill Hill, NASA deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development. “This is really our first step on our journey to Mars.”
Cornell University professor Jonathan Lunine co-chaired this National Research Council ‘Pathways To Exploration’ study comments, “Obviously this launch is a stepping stone forward to whatever might happen beyond low Earth orbit,” adding that “the current program as it’s constituted will, if nothing changes, reach a dead end.”
“Forty-two years ago last month, I left my footprints on the moon. And today…we can’t even get an American in space on our own,” reports Eugene Cernan, referencing his command of the Apollo 17 commission. “What we’re doing on the space station is exploitation—we’re continuing to go where we’ve been before. Exploration is when you go where humans have never been before, and you see what humans have never seen before.”
Indeed, this week’s test will be a pivotal step to continue such exploration in the very near future.