May 1, 2020

Hopeful for launch next year, NASA aims to resume SLS operations within weeks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space travel

With the Space Launch System’s inaugural test flight now officially delayed to November 2021, NASA says work halted by the coronavirus pandemic will resume within weeks to prepare for the first test-firing of the SLS core stage at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The last official schedule from NASA had the first SLS test launch in March 2021, but managers have said for months that schedule was no longer achievable. After a thorough review, NASA says the first SLS launch — named Artemis 1 — is now planned in November of next year.

The most powerful launch vehicle since the Apollo-era Saturn 5 moon rocket, the Space Launch System will carry an unpiloted Orion crew capsule into space. The Orion spaceship will orbit the moon to demonstrate the capsule’s capabilities and performance before NASA commits to flying astronauts around the moon on the second SLS/Orion flight in late 2022 or early 2023.

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