SLS and Orion: June 2012 Archives

Orion High-altitude Abort Test Faces Budget-driven Delay, SpaceNews

"A high-altitude test of the Orion deep-space capsule's launch abort system could be delayed two years [FY 2018] to accommodate the tighter program budgets anticipated by NASA and Orion prime contractor Lockheed Martin."

Sen. Hutchison Stresses Importance of Continued Progress on both Commercial and Government Space Launch Vehicles

"I just hope that there will no longer be budget proposals from the President, whoever that will be next year, that will appear to cut back on the future and fund the present because we have an authorization bill that assures both, we support both," Sen. Hutchison said at the hearing."

Prepared statement by Bill Gerstenmaier

"Based on the availability of funding and industry performance, this strategy allows for adjustments in program scope, and enables a domestic capability to transport crewmembers to the ISS likely by 2017, based on the readiness of U.S. commercial providers to achieve NASA certification."

Keith's note: If the Orion abort test doesn't happen until FY 2018, then what does this mean for using Orion to take crews to the ISS? NASA plans for using the ISS now end in CY 2020. If Orion delays continue, commercial crew service providers could reach the ISS well before Orion can. How can Orion provide the "capability to be a backup system for International Space Station cargo and crew delivery" if commercial crew carriers fly well before Orion flies? As such, why is Orion/SLS being designed with the capability of going to the ISS in the first place?

NASA Space Launch System Core Stage Moves From Concept to Design

"The nation's space exploration program is taking a critical step forward with a successful major technical review of the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS), the rocket that will take astronauts farther into space than ever before."

Boeing Successfully Completes Key Reviews of Space Launch System

"Boeing last week successfully completed its first major technical reviews for the cryogenic stages of the Space Launch System (SLS), bringing the team into the design phase for the nation's next heavy-lift, human-rated rocket."

Keith's note: Alas, NASA has no budget for the payloads that would fly on this rocket, no firm destination(s) identified, and no rationale offered as to how this rocket will be cheaper than using commercial alternatives.



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This page is an archive of entries in the SLS and Orion category from June 2012.

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