Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

Orion astronaut flight faces delay to 2023

RATE THIS! +34
Posted in Science on 18th Sep, 2015 02:09 AM by AlexMuller

NASA says its new astronaut capsule may not actually carry people until 2023. A test flight of Orion with humans aboard had previously been pencilled in for 2021, but officials say they now have less confidence in this date. Development difficulties "historically pop up", meaning future delays to the programme are a possibility.

 

An Orion test capsule flew an unmanned mission in December last year. It was a near-flawless outing, circling a few thousand kilometres above the Earth, but the capsule did not use the rocket for which it has been designed. This is a huge vehicle, also still in development, known as the Space Launch System (SLS).
 
More powerful than the Apollo programme's Saturn V, the SLS is due to make its debut with Orion - again in an uncrewed configuration, in late 2018. Only after that will the pair be prepared for a test flight with astronauts, possibly taking them on a trip around the back of the Moon.
 
Nasa had been working towards a "not before" date of August 2021 for this mission, known as EM-2. But a review of past progress and an assessment of future challenges has now prompted managers to change the target to a "no later than" April 2023. They have identified a number hardware and software problems that could disrupt the 2021 timeline. One is the reliance on the re-use of certain components from one test to another. If any of these fail and new parts are needed, this has the potential to use up margin in the programme.
 
"Right now we're not seeing any issues in those areas, but we have to account for those because we've got a lot of runway in front of us before we get there and those things could pop up," said Nasa associate administrator Robert Lightfoot
 
And Bill Gerstenmaier, who is the agency's senior executive responsible for human spaceflight matters, added: "I think we're being somewhat conservative. My teams will tell you they're trying to work every risk that's out there. Every risk that the Standard Review Board has identified - we think we can handle those risks.
 
"But if you look at the complexities of what we're doing building this spacecraft, there will be some unknowns that show up, and to protect for those we went with the later date, the 2023."
 
One uncertainty is the critical contribution being made to the Orion system by the European Space Agency. This is its service module - the back end of the capsule that pushes it through space. Nasa is working to a baseline budget of $6.77bn for Orion, from October 2015 through to the first crewed mission, assuming that is in 2023.
 
The development cost to date has been $4.7bn, according to Mr Lightfoot, although this number does not include the several billion spent on the capsule concept when it was part of the cancelled Constellation programme. That was President George W Bush's project to go back to the Moon.

Tags: spacerocketNASAOrionSLSSpace Launch SystemApolloastronaut

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-09-18
+1
It is clear that NASA's Orion mission needs time to come up with the right solution that is safe and sound, it would not be surprising that current estimates about the time and funds needed are optimistic Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-07-22 19:37:47
    Moon dust bag sold for $1.8m at New York auction..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-07-22 19:05:15
    China Plans to Use AI to Gain Global Economic Dominance.....read more
    Posted in Online on 2017-07-22 18:56:55
    Google Cloud gets a new networking algorithm that boosts.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-07-22 18:50:53
    Bitcoin avoids split into two blockchains..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-07-21 13:25:35
    Elon Musk thinks a moon base would fire up public support.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me