Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why is NASA postponing Orion’s first manned mission?” Good question. (OK, it’s a little “current events” but again it beats answering those questions about your odder intimate acts. Seriously? We thought “The Seatbelt” was just something they put on the seats in manned space capsules and other moving vehicles, mmmkay?)
This past Wednesday NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced that the new, manned deep-space Orion mission slotted for the summer of 2021 has been postponed. Specifically, it has been pushed back for two years and is currently scheduled for April of 2023.
Max Lewontin, contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, confirms this. He adds: “The capsule and its heavy-lift launcher would be the first manned spacecraft to venture into deep space beyond the moon, eventually leading to what NASA hopes will be a crew landing on Mars by the early 2030s.”
So why is NASA postponing Orion’s first manned mission? NASA officials state there are numerous reasons. They pointed the finger at both design issues and budget problems.
Lewontin reports that “management, technical, and budgetary hurdles have forced several delays.” He also notes that prior to the manned mission NASA is “working toward launching an unmanned Orion capsule in December 2018, which will be carried by a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.”
However, this SLS rocket, which has a price tag of $7 billion and “was previously scheduled for launch in November 2017” has also been delayed. Finally, Lewontin also learned that NASA folks are still “conducting a technical review to determine whether the Orion capsules will be able to meet the April 2023 launch date.”
Why is NASA postponing Orion’s first manned mission? Now you know.
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