The first test flight of NASA’s Orion capsule has been delayed from September to December.

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The first test flight of NASA’s Orion capsule has been delayed from September to December.

The supposed reason is to allow a military launch to get the best launch opportunity first. I find this excuse to be quite lame, and instead suspect that the NASA program needed more time but did not want to admit this publicly.

The delay moves the launch until after the November elections. Watch the political pressure continue to build to end this expensive, bloated, and not-very-useful boondoggle.



  • Dick Eagleson

    I’m inclined to share your suspicions about Orion’s readiness for prime time, but I don’t share your characterization of the offered “excuse” as “lame”. I think Orion would have been bumped regardless of whether it will be “ready” or not. I see this as just one more evidentiary data point in support of Rand Simberg’s frequent observation that human space travel just isn’t seen as being very important by the American political class. Even in these dark days of the Obama administration, however, national defense is still seen as an important priority, even if less so by Democrats than by Republicans. So if a national defense payload needs facilities that are currently penciled in for use by a human spaceflight-related mission, the latter is absolutely going to get bumped, ready or not.

  • I consider the reasons offered for the delay as “lame” in that they are simply not believable to me. I’ve watched government bureaucracies play these public relations games for decades, and this one smells of a fake excuse to hide the real reasons for the delay.

    The real reasons might simply be the ordinary difficulties that a new space project normally experiences, not anything significant, but it strikes me that NASA is still trying to hide them, nonetheless.

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