Artist's impressions of Orion over Earth and the Moon. Orion is NASA’s next spacecraft to send humans into space. It is designed to send astronauts further into space than ever before, beyond the Moon to asteroids and even Mars. When they return to Earth, the astronauts will enter our atmosphere at speeds over 32 000 km/h but the capsule will protect them and ensure a bumpy but safe landing.
ESA has designed and is overseeing the development of Orion’s service module, the part of the spacecraft that supplies air, electricity and propulsion. Much like a train engine pulls passenger carriages and supplies power, the European Service Module will take the Orion capsule to its destination and back.
Orion will go farther than any other crewed spacecraft has before and European design and technology will make that happen.