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.
NASA has issued a call for proposals to construct a second mobile launch platform that will be used by an upgraded version of the Space Launch System rocket starting in the early 2020s.
NASA’s cost and performance on major programs has “deteriorated” significantly in the last year according to a report May 1 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
NASA is in discussions with its Russian counterparts about extending some upcoming space station missions as a way to buy more time for development of commercial crew vehicles.
Members of the House space subcommittee raised concerns about elements of NASA's fiscal year 2019 budget proposal during a March 7 hearing, from the cancellation of a space telescope to restructuring of the agency's technology programs.
Members of a NASA safety panel said they see good progress on the development of both exploration systems and commercial crew vehicles, but warn future progress could be hindered by a "bottleneck" of reviews they face.
NASA is not planning to develop a second mobile launch platform that could shorten the gap between the first two Space Launch System missions as it makes few changes in general to its exploration programs despite a renewed focus on the moon.
NASA's fiscal year 2019 proposal will likely set up another showdown between NASA and Congress regarding the Europa Clipper mission, debating not only when to launch the spacecraft but also how.
An independent safety panel recommended NASA not certify SpaceX’s commercial crew system until the agency better understands the behavior of pressure vessels linked to a Falcon 9 failure in 2016.