First SLS launch will likely be delayed again

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Surprise! Surprise! NASA officials hinted at a conference October 10th that the first SLS launch will likely be delayed again, from late in 2020 to the first half of 2021.

This actually isn’t news. When NASA committed in July to doing a full static fire test of SLS’s first stage it almost guaranteed that the first launch could not happen before 2021.

What this means is that Trump’s desire to have a lunar landing, with SLS, by 2024, is practically impossible, even if Congress should agree to provide full funding, which it has not. SLS as designed simply cannot meet the launch pace required to get a lunar landing by 2024. It is too cumbersome, designed badly in terms of management and efficiency.



  • Chris Lopes

    Of course this is about as shocking as discovering gambling at Rick’s Place. It’s only amazing in the sense that this is supposed to be the same organization that went from Alan Shephard playing human cannonball to a couple of guys named Neil and Buzz stepping on to another world in a little over 8 years. Pournelle’s Iron Law wins again.

  • Darwin Teague

    How many delays have there been throughout the program? It has to be in triple digits, at least.

  • Perhaps there should be a Gomer Pyle clip at the head of SLS posts.

  • wayne

    tangentially–a most excellent travelogue on your recent adventures in the Pacific Northwest. (I encourage everyone to click on Blair’s blog and take a look.)

    Referencing Gomer Pyle…

    Gomer Pyle
    “Garsh, Sha-zam, Gall-lee”

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