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NASA to transition Orion contract to MPCV
Posted: Wed, May 25, 2011, 6:58 AM ET (1058 GMT)
Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) illustration (NASA) NASA announced Tuesday that it will transition existing contracts for the Orion crew exploration vehicle to the new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) program established by Congress. The MPCV was included in last year's NASA authorization bill and final 2011 funding bill, with a provision that NASA maximize use of contracts under the previous Constellation program. After several months of study, NASA announced that it would use the existing Constellation-era contract with Lockheed Martin for the Orion spacecraft for the MPCV. Officials said there no major technical changes planned for the vehicle, which would now be launched atop the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) rocket whose development is provided for in the same legislation that created the MPCV. NASA provided few details about the estimated cost to develop and operate the MPCV, or when they believed the vehicle would be ready to enter service.
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