April 8, 2020

Back in Florida, Orion capsule nears readiness for Artemis test flight

March 30, 2020

The Orion spacecraft slated to fly around the moon on an unpiloted mission next year has arrived back at the Kennedy Space Center following an environmental test campaign in Ohio, ready for a series of final checkouts before officials pause launch preparations this summer to await readiness of NASA’s Space Launch System.

Facing pandemic, NASA shutters rocket factory, halts SLS and Orion testing

March 20, 2020

NASA announced Thursday that work on the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket and Orion crew capsule at facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi is being halted due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, a stoppage that could force further delays on the already behind-schedule and over-budget programs. Meanwhile, NASA officials are making plans to continue working on the agency’s next Mars rover to keep it on schedule for launch later this year, even if the virus forces further closures.

NASA inspector general says SLS moon rocket costs continue to climb

March 10, 2020

The powerful Space Launch System rocket being built for NASA’s Artemis moon program by Boeing, using solid-propellant boosters from Northrop Grumman and main engines from Aerojet Rocketdyne, will have cost more than $18 billion by the time it blasts off on its maiden flight in 2021, NASA’s Office of Inspector General reported Tuesday.

Trump administration requests funding boost for NASA’s Artemis moon program

February 10, 2020

The Trump administration is requesting $25.2 billion for NASA in fiscal 2021, a 12 percent increase that includes $3.3 billion to kickstart development of a human-rated lander for the Artemis moon program. Nearly half of the budget request, $12.3 billion, is devoted to new and ongoing projects focused on the return to the moon and eventual flights to Mars.

First SLS core stage installed on test stand in Mississippi

February 3, 2020

Weeks after leaving its factory in New Orleans, the core stage for NASA’s first Space Launch System flight has been raised into a test stand at the Stennis Space Center to begin a series of checkouts culminating in an eight-minute engine-firing later this year.

First SLS core stage departs factory

January 8, 2020

The heart of NASA’s first flight-ready Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket emerged from its factory in New Orleans Wednesday morning for a barge trip to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for an eight-minute test-firing of its space shuttle-era hydrogen-fueled engines.

NASA declares first SLS core stage complete

December 15, 2019

NASA has declared assembly complete on the core stage for the first Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket in New Orleans, signaling a long-awaited transition from manufacturing to testing as the core stage is set to move to the nearby Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for a hold-down firing next year of its four shuttle-era main engines.

SLS pathfinder stage arrives at Florida launch site

October 1, 2019

A steel tube built as a stand-in for the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center for a series of rehearsals to hone the skills of technicians before the real rocket reaches the spaceport, an oft-delayed milestone that could still be a year or more away.

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