Orbital's proposed space vehicle for NASA's Commercial Crew Development-2 program is depicted in rendezvous and berthing operations with the International Space Station (Photo: Business Wire)
- A “blended lifting body” vehicle that will launch atop an expendable launch vehicle and return to Earth with a conventional runway landing. This design derives from studies performed by Orbital for NASA under the Orbital Space Plane program between 2000 and 2003.
- The vehicle would seat four astronauts, providing a cost-effective solution for NASA’s astronaut transportation needs, as well as enabling future commercial applications.
- The proposal baselines using a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, but is flexible enough to accommodate other launch vehicle options.
- Thales Alenia Space, which is responsible for the vehicle’s pressurized crew compartment
- Northrop Grumman, which is the lead airframe structures designer
- Honeywell and Draper Laboratory, which together are responsible for the human-rated avionics
- United Launch Alliance, which is responsible for the vehicle’s baseline launch vehicle