September 17, 2019

First moon-bound Orion crew capsule declared complete, major tests remain

July 22, 2019

Teams working at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida last week connected a U.S.-built Orion crew module with its European-made power and propulsion element for the first time, a significant accomplishment ahead of the spacecraft’s shipment to Ohio this fall for testing inside the world’s largest vacuum chamber.

Final assembly and test milestones on tap for NASA’s first Orion moon ship

July 15, 2019

The pressurized crew module and European-built service module for NASA’s first Orion spacecraft to travel to the moon will be joined together for the first time in the coming weeks at the Kennedy Space Center, with preparations — at least for Orion — on a pace to be ready for launch on an unpiloted test flight next year.

SLS mobile launcher moves to pad 39B for final exams

June 28, 2019

A towering mobile platform for the agency’s Space Launch System arrived at launch pad 39B Friday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a sequence of water and propellant flow tests, swing arm checkouts and other rehearsals that should conclude with managers declaring the spaceport’s ground systems ready to support the first SLS launch campaign by the end of the year.

NASA begins outlining roadmap for 2024 moon landing

May 1, 2019

A senior NASA official said Tuesday that the Space Launch System, a huge heavy-lift rocket years behind schedule, could launch astronauts on a moon landing mission in 2024 on just its third flight to meet a goal announced last month by Vice President Mike Pence, while commercial companies will be entrusted with more responsibility to develop a lunar lander and a modest mini-space station, or Gateway, in lunar orbit.

Pence calls for NASA to land astronauts on the moon within five years

March 26, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that NASA should land astronauts near the south pole of the moon within five years “by any means necessary,” calling for “new urgency” in the U.S. space program and sounding a warning for entrenched aerospace contractors to better meet schedule and cost commitments, or else lose work to other companies.

Facing more delays, NASA opens door to launching lunar mission with commercial rockets

March 13, 2019

In a major shift, NASA is considering using two commercial launchers to send an unpiloted Orion crew capsule and its European-built service module on a test flight around the moon next year, maintaining the lunar test flight’s schedule despite fresh delays in the development of the multibillion-dollar Space Launch System that jeopardize the heavy-lifter’s 2020 inaugural flight, the agency’s administrator said in a congressional hearing Wednesday.

Photos: SLS mobile launch platform rolls to pad 39B

September 1, 2018

The towering structure to be used for liftoffs of NASA’s Space Launch System rolled from a construction site to launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this week, arriving at the seaside complex Friday for a week of fit checks.

SLS mobile launch platform to go on the move this week

August 27, 2018

The mobile platform intended to carry NASA’s Space Launch System will trek to the mega-rocket’s launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as soon as Thursday, before heading inside the spaceport’s huge Vehicle Assembly Building for the first time next month.

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