NASA plans to complete the Green Run test campaign for the Space Launch System core stage with a hotfire test scheduled for mid-January.
Congress will provide NASA with nearly $23.3 billion in the final fiscal year 2021 omnibus spending bill, restoring several science programs but falling far short of the funding sought for a lunar lander program.
The latest in a series of delays in a test campaign for the core stage of the Space Launch System now leaves “very little margin” in the schedule for its launch next November, NASA managers said Dec. 10.
The White House is asking Congress to remove language from an appropriations bill that would direct NASA to launch the Europa Clipper mission on the Space Launch System as a long-running dispute on how to launch the mission nears its conclusion.
A critical test of the core stage of the Space Launch System is facing another delay, this time because of a combination of weather and technical issues that may push back the test to the end of the year.
Despite a weather-related pause in testing work, NASA still hopes to complete the Green Run test of the Space Launch System core stage in October, keeping its first launch on track for late next year.
A long-running debate about how to launch a multibillion-dollar NASA mission to Jupiter is now further complicated by potential technical issues involving one of the vehicles.
Four months after closing centers because of the coronavirus pandemic, NASA has been able to keep its highest priority missions on track, even as others have suffered delays.