Exploration Mission 2

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Exploration Mission 2
Operator NASA
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Orion MPCV
Start of mission
Launch date 2021[1]
Rocket SLS Block 1B[2]
Launch site Kennedy LC-39B[3]
End of mission
Landing site Pacific Ocean[4]

Orion logo.png

Beyond Low Earth Orbit Program
← EM-1 EM-3 →

The Exploration Mission 2 or EM-2 is scheduled to be the first crewed mission of NASA's Orion on the Space Launch System. The mission is to restart manned exploration of the Solar System. NASA plans to launch in 2021[5] with a crew to perform a practice flyby of a captured asteroid in lunar orbit.[1] This mission is expected to be the first time humans have left low Earth orbit since Apollo 17 in December 1972. Thus far, the most likely target is 2008 EV5.


EM-2 is a single-launch mission of a Space Launch System Block IB with an Exploration Upper Stage, lunar Block 1 Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and a payload insertion of 50.7 t. It would be a ten- to fourteen-day mission with a crew of four astronauts who would spend four days in lunar orbit. Its current description is "Crewed mission to enter lunar orbit, test critical mission events, and perform operations in relevant environments". The target for EM-2, as of 2015, might be to perform a flyby of a captured asteroid in lunar orbit, to be conducted in 2021. Currently, the proposed destination is asteroid 2008 EV5.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b c Foust, Jeff (March 25, 2015). "NASA Selects Boulder Option for Asteroid Redirect Mission". Space News. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  2. ^ Bergin, Chris (23 February 2012). "Acronyms to Ascent – SLS managers create development milestone roadmap". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Hill, Bill (March 2012). "Exploration Systems Development Status" (PDF). NASA Advisory Council. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Bergin, Chris (14 June 2012). "NASA teams evaluating ISS-built Exploration Platform roadmap". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "NASA Announces Next Steps on Journey to Mars: Progress on Asteroid Initiative". NASA. March 25, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ "NASA managers evaluate yearlong deep space asteroid mission September 9, 2013 by Marshall Murphy".