NASA has accepted the Orion crew exploration vehicle design as its choice for a multi-purpose crew vehicle to be used in deep space – saving thousands of jobs in Colorado.
NASA said the vehicle was the best choice for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and commended the Orion designers for creating it with a reduced budget.
Getting to this point wasn’t easy. Lawmakers fought to save the project during budget cuts in the past two years. Orion currently employs 1,000 people in Colorado and supports nearly 4,000 total jobs in the state.
“As a former chairman of the House Space Subcommittee, I know how important a bold vision from NASA is to our global competitiveness, including inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. Today, NASA rightly made Orion and our top-notch aerospace industry a part of that bold vision, which will help Colorado win the global economic race,” said Sen. Mark Udall. “Our state has invested heavily in the Orion program, and it is terrific for Colorado that our investment has paid off in the development of the next generation of deep space vehicle.”
NASA will retire the space shuttle after a final launch this summer. Orion will be the next vehicle used in human space exploration.