SLS and Orion: September 2015 Archives

Smith Condemns Administration's Space Exploration Delays

"NASA announced today that its schedule for the first crewed mission of SLS and Orion will slip to 2023; this represents a two year slip from previous plans for the first mission by 2021. The agency announced similar delays last fall. Smith has repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for failure to request adequate funding for Orion and the Space Launch System; the administration's FY16 budget request proposed cuts of more than $440 million for the programs."

OIG Report on SLS/Orion Ground Systems, earlier post

"NASA management noted a risk that the dates planned for SLS and Orion could slip and the GSDO review occur first. Accordingly, NASA should closely monitor the Programs to ensure any such risk is mitigated so as to avoid significant cost increases or schedule delays."

GAO Sees Through NASA's SLS/Orion Smoke and Mirrors, earlier post

"The Orion estimate does not include costs for production, operations, or sustainment of additional crew capsules, despite plans to use and possibly enhance this capsule after 2021. It also does not include $4.7 billion in prior costs incurred during the approximately 4 years when Orion was being developed as part of NASA's now-defunct Constellation program."

SLS Has Problems That Money Alone Will Not Fix, earlier post

"In addition, our ongoing work has found that the three human exploration programs are pursuing inconsistent and unrealistic schedule goals and that the Orion program is facing significant technical and funding issues that may affect NASA's overall schedule for its human exploration programs."

Congress and GAO Have Doubts About SLS Costs, earlier post

"According to the program's risk analysis, however, the agency's current funding plan for SLS may be $400 million short of what the program needs to launch by 2017. ... "Moreover, NASA's estimates do not capture the cost of the second flight of the 70-metric ton vehicle during EM-2, the costs of development work that will be necessary to fly the increased 105- and 130-metric ton SLS capabilities, and the costs associated with legacy hardware that will be used for the Orion program."

Empty Promises On NASA's Road to Mars, earlier post

"Now Charlie Bolden seems to derive a certain amount of happiness by saying "we are no longer 20 years away from Mars". What he is really saying is "Hooray - we now suck less at NASA".

Negative Progress Towards Putting Humans on Mars, earlier post

Decision looms on when to introduce new SLS upper stage, Spaceflight Now

"Officials initially planned to power the upper stage with a J-2X engine, a modernized powerplant based on the J-2 engine designed in the Apollo era. But managers decided the J-2X, which had roots in the canceled Constellation moon program, was overpowered for the job and sidelined the engine after a series of hotfire ground tests. NASA spent more than $1.4 billion on the J-2X engine from 2006 through 2014, an agency spokesperson said."

Using Jedi Mind Tricks to Sell NASA's Next Big Rocket (2014), earlier post

"The initial plan was to launch EM-1 with an upper stage composed of a modified Boeing Delta IV upper stage i.e. the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS). After trying this for several years, and spending $400 million or so, NASA realized that this was not going to work. So they are going to ask Boeing to deliver a standard Delta IV upper stage and use that. NASA then wants to commence work on a 4 engine Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) that will only be used a few times."

NASA Set for New Round Of J-2X Testing at Stennis Space Center, (2013) earlier post

"NASA's progress toward a return to deep space missions continues with a new round of upcoming tests on the next-generation J-2X rocket engine, which will help power the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) to new destinations in the solar system."

NASA OIG: Final Memorandum on the Review of NASA's Plan to Build the A-3 Facility for Rocket Propulsion Testing (2008), earlier posting

"We found that NASA's Upper Stage Engine (USE) Element Manager, located at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, reviewed the J-2X rocket propulsion testing options and selected the A-3 test stand to be built at Stennis without the required formal reviews or recommendations of the NRPTA, or NASA's RPTMB."

NASA OIG: NASA's Decision Process for Conducting Space Launch System Core Stage Testing at Stennis, (2014) earlier post

"Similar to the OIG's conclusions 5 years ago, the OIG found that NASA failed to follow its internal policies or its agreement with the DOD when it decided to spend approximately $352 million to refurbish and test the SLS core stage on the B-2 test stand at Stennis."

NASA Has No Clear Use for the J-2X That It Once Needed, earlier post


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This page is an archive of entries in the SLS and Orion category from September 2015.

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