Why the new Orion spaceship should end up costing a lot less than the one proposed under Constellation

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A good writeup on that subject can be seen here (by James Oberg who worked at NASA as a Mission Control operator and orbital designer for 22 years) from last month on how the new proposed Orion spaceship will likely end up being much cheaper than the one proposed under Constellation, given how much less it will be required to accomplish. Some of the differences are: being able to use batteries instead of solar cells (because mission length is much shorter), navigation is simpler, no spacewalking capability is needed, shorter mission time means smaller quarters as well as less complex hygienic facilities, and other comforts. In addition to this, a much lighter craft would mean the rocket used to lift it into orbit would also be a much smaller one, saving money there too.

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