A day after NASA announced a new launch date for the first flight of the Space Launch System, the chairman of the House Science Committee said he found the development delays “disappointing” and warned further problems could undermine congressional support.
As the Senate Commerce Committee prepares to advance his nomination as NASA administrator to the full Senate, Jim Bridenstine offered pledges of continuity for many key agency programs.
As NASA prepares to update the schedule for the first flight of its Space Launch System, a report by the agency’s inspector general warns a lack of budget reserves could lead to more delays in the future.
A shift in focus in NASA’s exploration plans to the moon won’t have an immediate effect on planning for the first flight of the agency’s Space Launch System rocket, now expected no sooner than late 2019.
"We are seeking your input,” said Kimberly Robinson, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s SLS secondary payloads manager. “We want to make flexible options and accommodate the type of cubesats you want to fly in the future.”
NASA has decided it will not add astronauts to the first flight of the Space Launch System, a launch now delayed until some time in 2019.
NASA now expects the first launch of the Space Launch System to slip to 2019, regardless of any decision to put a crew on that mission, given ongoing issues with development of the launch vehicle and the Orion spacecraft.
A report from NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) April 13 concluded that the first two missions of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft will likely slip from their currently scheduled dates.
Delays in the development of Orion’s European-built service module, and damage to a NASA facility from a tornado, are the key schedule risks for the first Space Launch System mission, agency officials said March 29.
Despite uncertainty about potential policy changes, NASA is pressing ahead with plans for a cislunar “gateway” outpost for future human missions, with decisions about how to develop it expected in the coming months.