05 December 2006

Orion budget approved for Moon

Lockheed Martin are given the go to build Orion & fly one by 2014.

Orion, it appears, will be used to build a Moon-base on one of the Lunar poles.

The agency’s deputy head, Shana Dale, is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying that the “fundamental lunar approach” will be very different to earlier Moon missions.

Amongst other things, there will be conceptually full-time manning instead of transient missions, & the base will be used “as a stepping stone” for Mars missions.

Meanwhile, it seems that Europe are also investigating Lunar missions with a similar launch date. Amongst other ideas, they want to grow a Dutch tulip there.

Unfortunately, these are modern Orions, not the traditional bang-bangs of Stanislaw Ulam, who visualised a bazooka version of a Jules Verne gun for Orion.

The original Orion project was sponsored by the USAF & didn’t survive the transfer of most missions to NASA. It’s a pity, because Orion was allegedly a great hunter & lover, according to the Greeks, who also had him build Vulcan’s underground palace.

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