NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agency’s approach to moving up a human lunar landing from 2028 to 2024 will focus first on speed and then on sustainability.
A day after Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return humans to the surface of the moon by 2024, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told members of Congress that this goal was “very aggressive” and would require additional funding for the agency to achieve.
A day after announcing that NASA was studying the possibility of shifting an Orion mission from the Space Launch System rocket to commercial vehicles, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he and the agency still support development of the SLS.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s surprise announcement March 13 that NASA is considering moving Exploration Mission 1 off of the Space Launch System took many in the industry by surprise, but some have reacted by defending the use of the SLS.
NASA is considering moving the Orion spacecraft that was to fly on the first Space Launch System mission to a commercial rocket to keep that mission on schedule for mid-2020.
Switching from SLS to the Falcon Heavy may cause some trade-offs in designing both the Europa Clipper and the Europa Lander to fit the smaller rocket. However, the cost savings could be plowed into an Enceladus orbiter.
A report by NASA’s inspector general Oct. 10 criticized both NASA and Boeing for delays and cost overruns in the development of a key component of the Space Launch System, and warned of more delays and overruns to come.
NASA says an Aug. 14 test of an engine for the Space Launch System was a success despite an unspecified “facility issue” that caused the test to end early.