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Well, it’s hard to tell. I think right now they’re focusing on getting commercial spacecraft to fly people to the space station, but in the background there is a longrange programme with [the Space Launch System rocket] and [the Orion spacecraft] that will eventually allow us to go beyond Earth orbit, like going to Mars. But right now it’s not an active part of launching because we’re between programmes I guess, and so it’s going to be a few years before they get the longrange exploration going with the new spacecraft. I would expect it’s going to be another 10 or 15 years before we get back into the exploration business.
Eventually we’re going to have to do something a little different than just that gumdrop-shaped capsule because there are some problems with re-entry and that sort of thing – you have to be very careful. But the day will come when we’re going to have spacecraft that’ll go way, way beyond even the Solar System, so that’ll take a different shape. But in the meantime we’ve got Orion, which is basically an enlarged Apollo spacecraft, and it can do the next step.
“It’s going to be a few years before they get the long-range exploration going”
NASA is currently looking into a return to the Moon, as well as a proposed lunar gateway
Alfred Worden was the Command Module pilot for NASA’s Apollo 15 lunar mission