NASA Delays First Manned Flight Orion Until 2023

Posted: Sep 17 2015, 5:09am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 17 2015, 10:28pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

NASA delays First Manned Flight Orion until 2023
Spacesuit engineers demonstrate how four crew members would be arranged for launch inside the Orion spacecraft, using a mockup of the vehicle at Johnson Space Center. Credits: NASA/Robert Markowitz
  • NASA First Manned Flight Orion undergoes Procrastination

The first manned flight Orion of NASA has undergone procrastination. Its launch date is now set for the year 2023.

The Orion spacecraft by NASA is meant to be the first manned flight into the depths of space. And it is supposed to carry people on board which is a first for journeys beyond the moon.

However, the launch of this space vehicle has been delayed till 2023. NASA has spent nearly $6.77 billion on this project. There has been a procrastination of two years in the launch date.

“Our work to send humans out into the solar system is progressing,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

“Orion is a key piece of the flexible architecture that will enable humanity to set foot on the Red Planet, and we are committed to building the spacecraft and other elements necessary to make this a reality.”

The deadline for 2021 will be rescheduled to April of 2023. NASA has underestimated some of the complications that arose along the way. Now it knows better and has acted likewise.

Among the hitches and glitches were financial issues, software evolution, road-testing the vehicle and a number of other small irritants. The biggest obstacle was the budget which would not budge.

The funds were running short and time was of the essence. The scenario was that President Obama’s budgetary recommendations for the NASA first manned flight known as Orion met up with the actual constraints of real life which is quite messy.

“As we take these steps to develop the capabilities we need to send astronauts deep into space, we’re also aligning how we manage our human exploration systems development programs to ensure we are prepared for unforeseen future hurdles,” said Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate administrator.

“We’re committing to this funding and readiness level to stay on the journey we’ve outlined to get to Mars.”

Human beings are to be supported in their journey into deep space using very powerful rockets. Orion underwent a test in 2014 when the empty spacecraft orbited the planet twice and then landed in the ocean.

One more demonstration flight will take place three years from now. As many as a quatrad of astronauts will be going off into deep space thanks to the Orion mission. And the trips will be much further than the moon.

They could be to the asteroids or even Mars. Florida will be the venue from which the launch will take place. It will be via the Space Launch System (SLS). This is a very powerful rocket which is still in the pipeline.

“The Orion Program has done incredible work, progressing every day and meeting milestones to prepare for our next missions,” said William Gerstenmaier, the agency’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters.

“The team will keep working toward an earlier readiness date for a first crewed flight, but will be ready no later than April 2023, and we will keep the spacecraft, rocket and ground systems moving at their own best possible paces.”

The Obama Administration has planned to delay the Orion mission. Thus the first manned flight into deep space will be set back by a few years during which crucial changes will be made in the project infrastructure.

According to a Republican Congressman, the Obama Administration has slashed the budget normally allocated to NASA. But Congress has always chosen to favor NASA over other respected institutions. Thus this time too NASA will get its fair share and Congress will leave no stone unturned in funding it generously and lavishly.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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