Suggested Searches

Orion Spacecraft

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. On Artemis missions, Orion will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

Updated Jul 18, 2023
art001e000672 (Nov. 28, 2022) On flight day 13, Orion reached its maximum distance from Earth during the Artemis I mission when it was 268,563 miles away from our home planet. Orion has now traveled farther than any other spacecraft built for humans.


The Orion spacecraft is built by NASA and prime contractor Lockheed Martin. It is currently the only spacecraft capable of crewed deep space flight and highspeed return to Earth from the vicinity of the Moon.

NASA’s Artemis program is leading the charge to land the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the Moon, and Orion is the spacecraft that will carry astronauts from Earth to the lunar vicinity and return them back home. Orion is specifically designed to carry astronauts on deep space missions father than ever before. It will provide protection from solar radiation and high-speed entry into Earth’s atmosphere, as well as advanced and reliable technologies for communication and life support. Orion’s missions will span multiple phases, as part of NASA’s framework to build a flexible, reusable, and long-duration infrastructure that will last multiple decades and support missions of increasing complexity.

The Moon is the proving ground for sending astronauts to Mars. It gives us opportunities to test new tools, instruments, and equipment to expand humanity into our solar system. Mars remains the horizon goal. NASA expects to take advantage of the unique exploration capabilities of both SLS and Orion and emerging commercial capabilities to build and support the Gateway.

Components of the Orion spacecraft.
Did You Know?

The Orion spacecraft is built using 355,056 individual parts.

Did You Know?

There are 77,150 different types of parts that are used on Orion.