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NASA's big SLS missile is unlikely to fly before at least 2021



  NASA Administrator James Bridenton testified before the Senate Committee on Trade, Science and Transport on July 17, 2019.
Click to enlarge / NASA Administrator James Bridenton testifies to the Committee on Trade, Science and Transport in the Senate

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Last month, both NASA planners and Boeing officials said the space agency is still working to launch Artemis-1 mission by 2020. This is the first release of the large, expensive and delayed Space Launch System, which NASA's hopes will serve as a backbone for his efforts to explore the Moon and eventually Mars with humans. Orion Capsule on the Moon is the first of three major missions in NASA's Artemis to land people on the Moon by 2024. However, for the first time, NASA Administrator Jim Bridentina on Wednesday ruled out the launch of 2020

] Twice during testimony before the US Commerce, Science and Transport Committee, Bridenstine indicated 2021 as the expected date for the launch of Artemis-1. "I think 2021 is definitely achievable for Artemis-1's rocket launcher," Bridental said in response to a question from Senator Roger Wicker, the Mississippi republic, who chairs the committee.

However, Bridentalna said he would not set a new date for the mission. Last week, he appointed two senior NASA, Bill Gusttenmayer and Bill Hill space officials, partly because of the cost and delay of the SLS missile stage. Bridenstine is now looking for replacements both at NASA and outside to fill these key roles and assess the SLS's racket's readiness. "Briardstein said. "So before we announce a new date, I want to make sure we have a leadership team in place."

In his written testimony of the hearing, Brindstede added a suitable detail to this timetable. "The Office of the Chief Financial Officer of NASA conducted a risk assessment on schedule for Artemis 1 launch date, including the integrated schedule and related risk factors for Artemis 1," he wrote. "NASA executives are currently evaluating these results." the mission of Artemis-1 will not be ready for release at least until the end of 2021. In addition, NASA is likely to need more money – more than $ 2 billion, which it receives annually to develop SLS – for a realistic launch date by the end of 2021

Previously, Bridentina said that with modifications the private Falcon Heavy Rocket could bring Orion's astronauts to the moon if the SLS missile was not ready. However, due to pressure from key figures in Congress, especially Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, Bridgetin said it would not happen. " We can take some decisions from the table," he told reporters at a teleconference this week. "We will go with the SLS rocket and Orion's crew capsule, which is imperative."


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