The shuttle's successors

With four commercial companies working on projects to take astronauts to the International Space Station, Nasa is free to focus on journeys further into space, this is where the MPCV or Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle comes in.

Diagram showing details of the Multi-purpose crew vehicle

"We are committed to human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit"

Charles Bolden, Nasa

Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle

  • Unknown launch date
  • Unknown launch vehicle
  • 4 total crew capacity
  • $5bn Nasa funding so far
  • Sea landings with parachutes

The craft could be involved in missions to visit asteroids by the 2020s and Mars by the 2030s.

It will be able to take four astronauts on missions lasting up to 21 days. The MPCV is based on the uncompleted Orion spacecraft - a key part of the Constellation space programme launched by then US President George W Bush but cancelled by his successor Barack Obama because of its cost.

Graphic

More on This Story

Space shuttle

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Science & Environment stories

RSS

Features

  • Elderly manSuicide decline

    The number of old people killing themselves has fallen. Why?


  • Petrol pumpPumping up

    Why are petrol prices rising again?


  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing


  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg


  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance


Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.