The director of Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA said on Tuesday that they are reconsidering the date of launch of the first flight of its Space Launch System in 2020. This shows that the chances of further delays in the launch are quite possible.
Jody Singer said the date of launch for Exploration Mission (EM) 1 is in 2020, but she did not provide an exact date even when the agency is saying that there are chances that the date can change. Singer added that they do not know whether the agency is reconsidering the dates to see if it will work to make sure if it has the launch vehicle ready and if it is ready to fly. She said that the launch date is 2020, and they will do everything possible to stick by it. Although she did not talk about the issues behind the reassessment, the officials of NASA had earlier said that SLS’s main stage, along with the service module for Orion spacecraft that would be launched by SLS were the things important for the mission.
Singer who is a manager and an engineer accepted that they are issues with the SLS’s development whose launch has been delayed from 2017 to 2020 during its development period. She said that they are trying hard to overcome the challenges that they are facing while building SLS. She said that SLS’s other elements are mostly complete, including the two rocket boosters of five segment, adapters and upper stage.
The SLS vehicle is almost complete. It is in its final outfitting, she said. Test articles of liquid hydrogen and oxygen tanks would be tested at Marshall soon, she added. She also noted that while the main stage flight hardware is assembled in New Orleans at the Michoud Assembly Facility.