Home | Top News | World | US News | Politics | Economy | Sports | Technology | Science | Lifestyle | People | Recalls

Bridenstine reiterates commitment to SLS


WASHINGTON — A day after announcing that NASA was studying the possibility of shifting an Orion mission from the Space Launch System rocket to commercial vehicles, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he and the agency still support development of the SLS. Speaking at a Space Transportation Association luncheon here March 14, Bridenstine said the ongoing study to use commercial launch vehicles rather than the SLS for Exploration Mission (EM) 1 was motivated by a desire to maintain a schedule that called for flying the mission in mid 2020, and that it was a stopgap measure only. “This is a fix to a problem,” he told an audience of aerospace executives, congressional staffers and representatives of other space agencies of that potential alternative approach to EM-1. “This is not the solution. This is not sustainable.” Bridenstine told members of the Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing March 13 that the agency was looking at that alternative approach, which would involve using one commercial launch vehicle to launch the Orion and another to launch an upper stage that, once docked to Orion, would propel it to the moon. In the day since that hearing, some have speculated that the proposal could be an attempt to demonstrate that the SLS was no longer necessary, particularly after the administration’s budget request for 2020 deferred work on the more powerful Block 1B version of SLS and moved some payloads, including elements of the lunar Gateway and the Europa Clipper mission, to other vehicles. However, Bridenstine said at the luncheon that proposal was intended allow for testing of the Orion spacecraft, including its European-built service module, to proceed despite continued delays in the development of SLS. “We take advantage of all the capabilities that we have as a nation to get the Orion crew capsule and the European service module in orbit around the moon in order to test it,” he said. He suggested the first SLS that is currently being developed for EM-1 could be used for other purposes. “It could be used for a whole host of capabilities, maybe delivering hardware to the moon,” he said. “It is about making sure we meet our milestones and demonstrate continuous achievement.” Bridenstine suggested that this alternative approach for EM-1, an uncrewed test of the Orion spacecraft, would not be sustainable if also used on future crewed missions of the spacecraft. “When you talk about the risk of docking in orbit, and putting humans on vehicles that will be docking in Earth orbit before throwing them to the moon, that’s risk and challenge that ultimately we probably don’t have to take,” he said. “SLS and Orion are a critical capability for this country, and it’s in our national interest to continue those,” he said. The alternative concept for EM-1 “actually moves us ahead. It doesn’t switch one thing for another, and it certainly doesn’t cancel anything.” Bridenstine said that an internal study about this alternative approach to EM-1 is underway and should be completed in a couple of weeks. “We’re looking at a study to figure out what is in realm of possibility,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to do anything. It means that we’re going to study it and, of course, after studying it, we’re going to get consensus from the people who write the checks for NASA.” At least one of those key members of Congress who fund NASA expressed opposition to the proposal. “While I agree that the delay in the SLS launch schedule is unacceptable, I firmly believe that SLS should launch the Orion,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said in a statement to SpaceNews March 13. Bridenstine’s comments at the luncheon mirrored a memo he sent to NASA personnel March 14 and published on the agency’s website. “Please know that NASA is committed to building and flying the SLS,” he wrote. He cited reasons that included the unsustainability of multiple launches for each Orion mission, risks of docking, and that SLS can support missions to the moon and Mars “safer and more efficiently than any temporary solution used to get back on track.” SpaceNews.com (SpaceNews.com) More More

Similar stories

Can America return to the moon by 2024? | TheHill - The Hill

Can America return to the moon by 2024? | TheHill  The Hill

At the most recent meeting of the National Space Council, held at NASA's Marshal Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Vice President Mike Pence ...

Posted on 5 April 2019 | 2:00 am | Google News

Moon 2024 Gets Cool Reception by House Committee Democrats - SpacePolicyOnline.com

Moon 2024 Gets Cool Reception by House Committee Democrats  SpacePolicyOnline.com

The Democratic leaders of the House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee gave the Trump Administration's proposal to put astronauts back on ...

Posted on 2 April 2019 | 2:00 am | Google News

NASA studying ways to accelerate development of SLS - SpaceNews

NASA studying ways to accelerate development of SLS  SpaceNews

A day after directed to return humans to the moon by 2024, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told Congress that this goal was “very aggressive”.

Posted on 27 March 2019 | 2:00 am | Google News

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

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

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 ...

Posted on 26 March 2019 | 2:00 am | Google News

NASA considers sidelining its Boeing-built rocket for an upcoming Moon mission - WREG NewsChannel 3

NASA considers sidelining its Boeing-built rocket for an upcoming Moon mission  WREG NewsChannel 3

In the face of more frustrating delays with the rocket Boeing is building for NASA, the space agency will decide how to launch an upcoming Moon mission.

Posted on 25 March 2019 | 2:00 am | Google News

NASA rocket becomes Boeing’s latest headache as Trump demands moon mission - The Washington Post

NASA rocket becomes Boeing’s latest headache as Trump demands moon mission  The Washington Post

Boeing senior executives arrived at NASA headquarters two weeks ago for what they knew would be a tense meeting. The rocket they've been building for ...

Posted on 22 March 2019 | 2:00 am | Google News

Copyright © 2019 LastMinuteStuff.com
Contact info