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A NASA audit has found that it is unlikely that the first SLS test flight will take place as scheduled in 2018, and that the first manned flight is also likely to be delayed from its 2021 launch target.
“NASA’s first exploration missions — EM-1 and EM-2 — face multiple challenges that will likely delay their launch,” the report states. The missions “are not likely to launch by 2018 or 2021, respectively,” it continues.
When might a crew launch? Hard to say.
The report says incomplete NASA information makes it “more difficult for both the agency and external stakeholders to gain a full understanding of the costs of that mission or to assess the validity of the agency’s launch date assumptions.”
If the first manned flight happens in 2023, as now expected, it means that it will occur 20 years after George Bush first proposed the Crew Exploration Vehicle (Orion) and the heavy lift rocket to put it into space. The total cost to fly this one mission will be approximately $43 billion.
Let me repeat that: $43 billion and 20 years to fly a single manned mission. Does no one in government see something wrong with this picture?
Posted from the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit.