SLS and Orion: March 2020 Archives

NASA OIG: NASA's Development of Ground and Flight Application Software for the Artemis Program

"We found the EGS Program has taken appropriate steps to manage GFAS by implementing a flexible software development process and exercising appropriate oversight and risk management. However, we found that challenges from simultaneous hardware and software development efforts resulted in revisions to GFAS and contributed to increased development costs. In addition, NASA and Lockheed Martin--the contractor developing the Orion crew capsule--took 2 years to resolve information technology security issues that delayed the GFAS team from obtaining remote access to critical test equipment at the contractor's laboratory. Overall, as of October 2019 GFAS development has cost $51 million, about $14 million more than originally planned. Although EGS managers expect GFAS to be ready in time to launch Artemis I, it is essential that the Agency incorporate lessons learned from cross-program development, integration, and testing challenges to minimize risks to future software development."

NASA OIG: Audit of NASA's Development of Its Mobile Launchers

"NASA has greatly exceeded its cost and schedule targets in developing ML-1. As of January 2020, modification of ML-1 to accommodate the SLS has cost $693 million--$308 million more than the Agency's March 2014 budget estimate--and is running more than 3 years behind schedule.

Looking ahead, the project faces a risk of further cost increases and schedule slippage as ML-1 completes testing for Artemis I and undergoes modifications for Artemis II. The Agency's acquisition approach for ML-1, which lacked coordination and competition with design contractors, coupled with immature SLS requirements resulted in design errors and integration challenges that drove the project's cost increases and schedule delays.

Specifically, the ML-1 project experienced numerous design errors during the outfitting of the tower that resulted in cabling and structural conflicts, equipment that did not work as intended, and issues with fabrication of the connections known as umbilicals that provide power, communications, oxygen, and fuel. NASA exacerbated these issues by accepting unproven and untested designs from one of the project's contractors. Additionally, immature SLS requirements resulted in integration challenges that also contributed to increased costs and caused schedule delays. As a result of these issues, NASA incurred substantial unplanned costs for a system the Agency currently plans to use for three or four missions."

Jurczyk: Artemis I to Launch in Mid-Late 2021, HLS Contracts Within Weeks, Space Policy Online

"NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk said on Friday that the first launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) with an uncrewed Orion spacecraft, Artemis I, will take place in mid-late 2021. He also said NASA will award contracts "within weeks" for the Human Landing System (HLS) as NASA strives to meet the Trump Administration's goal of landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024 -- the Artemis program. Embracing Artemis is the first step towards a trillion dollar cislunar space economy according to space industry executive Tory Bruno who spoke at the same conference in Laurel, MD. He urged everyone to stop "squabbling" and support the program."

GAO Anticipates First SLS Launch Date In 2021, earlier post

"In November 2018, within one year of announcing an up to 19-month delay for the three programs - the Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle, the Orion spacecraft, and supporting ground systems - NASA senior leaders acknowledged the revised date of June 2020 is unlikely. Any issues uncovered during planned integration and testing may push the launch date as late as June 2021".

NASA Flips A Coin Again To Pick A New SLS Launch Date, earlier post

"NASA says "December 2019" because it sounds better than some date in "2020" - even if the launch date was 1 January 2020. Its like saying that something costs $19.99 instead of $20.00. It sounds better. Truth be known they have no idea - as OIG and GAO have been saying again and again every year."

More Bad SLS Orion News From GAO, earlier post

"Three of the largest projects in this critical stage of development-- Exploration Ground Systems, Orion, and the Space Launch System-- continue to face cost, schedule, and technical risks. In April 2017, we found that the first integrated test flight of these systems, known as Exploration Mission-1, will likely be delayed beyond November 2018."

NASA Has Three Different Launch Dates for Humans on SLS, earlier post

"So ... NASA originally said that it needs SLS for the whole #JourneyToMars thing - just like Ares V. Then reality sets in (as it always does) and NASA's response is to keep two sets of books - the internal set says that it will launch humans on SLS in 2021 while the public one aims for 2023. Now there's a third set of books is being kept wherein a 2024-2025 launch date is being worked."


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This page is an archive of entries in the SLS and Orion category from March 2020.

SLS and Orion: January 2020 is the previous archive.

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