Space Launch System (SLS) Credit: NASA/MSFC

NASA is developing a trio of systems to put astronauts into space—the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System, and Exploration Ground Systems. NASA will need these systems for its human space exploration goals, including sending astronauts to the Moon as soon as 2024.

How is NASA managing these large and complex efforts? Past reports have noted that schedules were overly optimistic and that NASA’s reporting of cost growth for SLS and Orion is distorted.

Artist rendering of Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft in deep space.
Credit: Lockheed Martin

For the latest developments, go to this House Hearing: Developing Core Capabilities for Deep Space Exploration: An Update on NASA’s SLS, Orion, and Exploration Ground Systems.

This hearing was staged by the House Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee on September 18, 2019.

Witness testimony:

  • Kenneth Bowersox, NASA Acting Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations

  • Cristina Chaplain, Director, Contracting and National Security Acquisitions, U.S. Government Accountability Office

  • Doug Cooke, Owner, Cooke Concepts and Solutions; Former Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems, NASA

Orion and ESA Service Module.
Credit: NASA/ESA/ATG/Medialab












Other resources

Also go to Rep. Frank Lucas’ Statement at Space Subcommittee Hearing on NASA’s SLS and Orion Programs at:

For the opening Statement of Rep. Brian Babin, go to:

For a video of the entire hearing, go to:

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