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Tue, May 16, 2017

No Crew Will Fly Aboard Orion Spacecraft Before 2022

NASA Deems That First Flight Will Be 'Too Risky' For Astronauts

The first crewed launch date for NASA Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft has been pushed to at least 2022, according to the space agency.

USA Today reports that the Trump administration had requested a feasibility study of flying astronauts on the first launch of the SLS in 2020. The study determined that it was possible to have the system ready for a manned flight by that date ... if the agency were to receive an additional $600 to $900 million.

NASA head of human spaceflight Bill Gerstenmaier said on Friday that while there was additional risk, it was "reasonable risk." But with no additional money coming, the space agency will go back to its original plan of launching a crew on Exploration Mission-2, which will launch from pad 39B in 2022 ... about two and a half years after EM-1 launches from the Kennedy Space Center.

"NASA appreciates the energy, creativity, and depth of engineering and program analysis that was brought to the decision, but ultimately, the decision was made not to fly crew on the first flight after weighing the data and assessing all implications," wrote acting NASA administrator Robert M. Lightfoot.

(Image from file)



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