Europe is preparing plans to join the United States in building a manned spaceship that would take men and women to the moon and beyond.
According to a story on Raw Story.com, the project will see construction of a four-person US Orion spaceship.
“Europeans will have the power to put men and women into space,” Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of the European Space Agency, told the Observer newspaper in an exclusive interview. “That would be a fantastic development for us.”
The Orion capsule – known officially as the Multiple Purpose Crew Vehicle – is designed to carry astronauts on missions of up to six months and could take men and women to the moon, or an asteroid or possibly even Mars.
The plan for Europe to join the US in building Orion spaceships stems from Nasa’s decision to privatise crew and cargo flights to the space station. Companies such as PayPal founder Elon Musk’s SpaceX are expected to take over this role in a couple of years.