Oh how they tease me, but maybe this time it’s for real:
The plan calls for building a space capsule with an emergency escape tower similar to the Apollo capsule that ferried men to and from the moon. Orion, though, would be much larger than Apollo. The NASA administrator, Michael D. Griffin, who did not speak at the news conference, has called the new ship “Apollo on steroids.”
Orion is to carry up to six astronauts to the International Space Station; a later version would take four astronauts to the moon, where they would use a separate lander ship to reach the surface. Still later versions could serve as crew-return vehicles for ships that one day may take humans to Mars, NASA officials said.