Thursday, February 7, 2013

Another Orion Delay

Aviation Week reported on January 9 that the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Capsule is 4,000 pounds too heavy for its recovery parachutes.

Now comes a report from the Huntsville Times that the launch abort system may not be tested in flight until 2017.

The flat budget facing NASA is forcing the space agency to delay a planned flight test of the Orion capsule's launch abort system at least two years, according to a report today. The website SpaceNews.com reported the delay in an account of recent testimony by a top NASA official to a review panel.

According to Space News, NASA's deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, Dan Dumbacher, told the panel on Feb. 4 that the in-flight test of the system designed to save astronauts from a launch abort will not happen until the full Space Launch System makes its flight debut in 2017.

"This is a development problem," the website quoted Dumbacher telling members of the National Research Council's Committee on Human Spaceflight. "You run into problems along the way, and there are things that have to be moved around and things that have to be reshaped."

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