collected by :Irin Lilly
Going without crew in that first test flight has been NASA’s plan all along.
The first flight of NASA’s expensive new deep-space rocket is going to be delayed again, and it won’t have any astronauts aboard, the agency announced Friday.
[NASA considers adding two astronauts to rocket test flight]Phil Larson, the space policy adviser in the Obama White House, said of this new delay in the rocket schedule, “This is something that I think a lot of people saw coming.
[Trump, via NASA, has a new rocket.
That means it is unlikely NASA will launch astronauts on the SLS before 2022.
NASA deside Going without astronauts on first flight of SLS super rocket
Together with the second stage engine, the SLS Block 1 will be able to put 154,000 pounds into low-Earth orbit.
In any case, EM-2, featuring an astronaut crew, would be launched atop a Block 1B SLS rocket in the late 2021 timeframe.
Unlike the EM-1 rocket, the Block 1B version of the SLS would feature a more powerful, human-rated “exploration upper stage,” or EUS.
Even in its initial configuration, the giant SLS rocket will generate a ground-shaking 8.8 million pounds of thrust — 15 percent more than NASA’s legendary Saturn 5 moon rocket — enough to boost the 5.75 million-pound rocket out of the dense lower atmosphere.
The Government Accountability Office concluded last summer that NASA will have spent some $23 billion through EM-1 developing the SLS rocket, the Orion capsule and ground infrastructure.
NASA won’t put man on the first flight of its super rocket
according to Specifically, NASA wanted to know if such a crewed flight could be done safely by 2019.
It was a bold move at the time, but NASA needed a pilot in the Shuttle to control the vehicle’s landing.
When NASA’s next big rocket launches for the first time, chances are good it won’t have people on board.
Putting crew on the first flight of a new vehicle isn’t usually how NASA does thingsPutting crew on the first flight of a new vehicle isn’t usually how NASA does things, though.
So for now, it seems that NASA will stick with its original strategy for debuting the SLS: doing an uncrewed flight first, followed by a crewed mission.