Nasa’s next manned exploration vehicle, Orion, has completed its preliminary design review.

The spacecraft will feature a capsule-shaped crew module designed for crew operability and safety, a service module housing utility systems, propulsion components and a launch abort system.

The preliminary design review, which takes place before the hardware manufacturing can begin, evaluated the Orion’s capability to support three types of missions — flights to the International Space Station, week-long missions to the moon and lunar missions for up to 210 days.

The PDR also assessed the design to ensure safety and reliability of the overall system and flight meeting Nasa mission requirements.

Nasa’s Johnson Space Center Orion Project Office manager Mark Geyer said that as a project, a programme and an agency, Nasa is reviewing the design maturity, strategy and plans for its next human spacecraft and agreeing that this is the architecture it is going to build.

Lockheed Orion vice president and project manager Cleon Lacefield said that to date they have completed more than 300 technical reviews, 100 peer reviews and 18 subsystem design reviews.

The PDR will be followed by an independent agency-level evaluation to validate the PDR results to gain formal approval to transition into the next life cycle phase.