Artist’s view of Space Launch System/Orion spacecraft on the launch pad.
Credit: NASA



A newly released U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has found that the countdown for the first exploration mission of the Space Launch System/Orion spacecraft is likely to face delay.

The GAO report issued last week notes that NASA is working towards a November 2018 launch date for the first test flight of its three related human space exploration programs: the Orion crew vehicle, the Space Launch System, and the Exploration Ground Systems.

However, the GAO found that all three programs face challenges and have little time or money set aside to address potential issues, a situation that will likely delay the launch date, the report explains.

Credit: NASA




No schedule reserve

“All three programs face unique challenges in completing development, and each has little to no schedule reserve remaining between now and the [Exploration Mission – 1] EM-1 date, meaning they will have to complete all remaining work with little margin for error for unexpected challenges that may arise.

To view the full GAO report to Congressional Committees — NASA Human Space Exploration: Delay Likely for First Exploration Mission — issued April 27, 2017/GAO-17-414, go to:


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