NASA really wants, really send astronauts to the Moon and eventually to other planets, but it does not currently have a rocket capable of doing such feats. The Space Launch System (SLS) is the solution of NASA, but the development of the rocket took much longer - and costs much more - than the agency had ever planned.
NASA's latest estimates suggest that the SLS would still hope to see its first test flight somewhere in 2020 . This unmanned mission would be an important step, but it now seems that the agency has slightly changed its expectations, the prospect is now much more likely in 2021.
Comme Ars Technica reports, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine recently spoke to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and the dates he mentioned for the first launch of the SLS are a year later than all assumed assumptions.
Bridenstine has twice mentioned 2021 as the date The agency hopes that the Artemis-1 mission, the first launch of the SLS test, will take place. The administrator said that 2021 was "quite feasible," but declined to specify anything more specific.
This is not the first time that NASA has been forced to postpone its SLS launch plans, and if the initial schedule had been possible have already seen at least one SLS flight today. The delays forced this schedule to change, and the first scheduled launch date was extended to 2019, and now to 2020, to 2021.
These delays have also resulted in significant financial costs for NASA, which now estimates that the program will cost billions of dollars more than originally planned. It should be noted that NASA works with subcontractors, including Boeing (who failed to reach milestones for his Starliner spacecraft ) and Northrop Grumman (who does not seem to be able to stop wasting the James Webb Space Telescope project ) on the SLS program. I wonder why the SLS has suffered setbacks?
This article appeared first (in English) on BGR