[FPSPACE] No Orion flights until 2014
pjp961 at svol.net
Tue Aug 12 12:22:12 EDT 2008
>From Agency France Presse
Space Shuttle successor will not fly before 2014: NASA
Published: Tuesday August 12, 2008
NASA announced it has pushed back the launch of the Orion, the spacecraft
designed to replace the agency's aging space shuttle fleet, by one year to
"The window of opportunity for us to accelerate Orion (for a 2013 flight)
has closed," said Orion program manager Jeff Hanley, speaking during the
same conference call.
NASA had been hoping to launch Orion on its first mission in September 2013.
Rick Gilbrech, NASA associate administrator for the Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate, told reporters during a telephone conference call that
the delay was due to technical difficulties and a tight budget.
"We are still confident the Constellation Program will make its first flight
to the International Space Station on or before," 2014, said Gilbrech.
"Since the program's inception, NASA has been working an aggressive plan to
achieve flight capability before our March 2015 target," said Gilbrech,
referring to a deadline set by Congress.
The Orion is a component of the Constellation program, a NASA program that
includes new launch vehicles
tml##> and a lunar lander.
The new crafts will re-supply the International Space Station and carry out
other missions such as landing on the moon.
But the current space shuttle fleet is scheduled to decommissioned in late
September 2010, once the ISS is completed.
Russian Soyuz spacecraft will be supplying astronauts aboard the ISS until
the Orion crafts are in service.
NASA officials will in the coming months talk to suppliers and manufacturers
in the Constellation program -- including the Orion developer, aerospace
giant Lockheed Martin -- to modify the contracts and adjust to the new
calendar, said Gilbrech.
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