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By: Amy Green, WMFE

WMFE - Kennedy Space Center leaders say they're on schedule for an unmanned test flight next year of Orion, NASA's next vehicle for taking astronauts into space. They talked with reporters Monday about NASA's mission to retrieve an asteroid and draw it closer to Earth where astronauts could visit it.

The new spacecraft is taking shape in an assembly building of the Kennedy Space Center, its green skeleton and red and yellow circuitry exposed within a cocoon of white scaffolding.

Scott Colloredo is in charge of repurposing KSC for tomorrow's space flight. He says after the shuttle program ended in 2011, KSC now has to be more flexible.

"So as the missions are defined, and as the commercial and government users materialize we're ready to accept them."

At just over 10 feet the capsule is hardly the shuttle's size and more closely resembles the Apollo capsule of yesterday.

Orion began as part of the Constellation program, which was aimed at returning astronauts to the moon. But the Obama administration cancelled Constellation as the program became over-budget and behind schedule.

Source: http://www.wmfe.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=14299&news_iv_ctrl=1041

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