The Orion crew capsule that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station, which is scheduled to launch in 2021, has received a $1 billion, 15-year funding extension.
The Orion Crew Vehicle is an advanced crew transportation system for space travel.
It will be used to transport crew to and from the ISS, provide cargo to the station, and perform scientific experiments.
NASA is considering whether to expand the Orion crew vehicle’s use to include future deep space missions.
The agency has a long history of conducting research in low-Earth orbit, and the Orion spacecraft has been a key element of that effort.
A $1-billion extension for Orion is part of NASA’s $10.9 billion budget request for the year ending March 31, 2018.
NASA said the extension would help to accelerate Orion’s design, develop its engines and other systems, and fund a research program that would focus on the development of advanced propulsion systems and other spacecraft.
The agency is expected to announce its next phase of the Orion program later this year.
The program has a goal of having the spacecraft in orbit by 2024, and that goal is expected in a document to be released later this fall.
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