SLS/ORION In Search of A Manned Mission. Bob Zimmerman,




English: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Orion ground test vehicle sits on a work stand in the Operations and Checkout O&C Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The vehicle traveled more than 1,800 miles from the company's Waterton Facility near Denver where it successfully completed a series of rigorous tests that simulated launch and spaceflight environments. The ground test vehicle will be used for pathfinding operations in the O&C, including simulated manufacturing and assembly procedures. After those operations are completed, new backshell panels will be installed on the ground test vehicle at the O&C prior to the vehicle’s trek to NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia for splashdown testing at the agency's Hydro Impact Basin. Launching atop NASA's heavy-lift Space Launch System SLS, which also is under development, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle MPCV will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry astronaut crews beyond low Earth orbit. It also will provide emergency abort capabilities, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. For more information, visit

Date 21 April 2012


Twitter: @batchelorshow

SLS/ORION In Search of A Manned Mission. Bob Zimmerman,

Faced with indications that Trump wants a manned lunar mission during his first term, NASA’s acting administrator has asked his engineers and management to look into the possibility of putting humans on the first SLS/Orion launch, now set for late in 2018.

As the Acting Administrator, my perspective is that we are on the verge of even greater discoveries. President Trump said in his inaugural address that we will “unlock the mysteries of space.” Accordingly, it is imperative to the mission of this agency that we are successful in safely and effectively executing both the SLS and Orion programs.

Related to that, I have asked Bill Gerstenmaier to initiate a study to assess the feasibility of adding a crew to Exploration Mission-1, the first integrated flight of SLS and Orion. I know the challenges associated with such a proposition, like reviewing the technical feasibility, additional resources needed, and clearly the extra work would require a different launch date. That said, I also want to hear about the opportunities it could present to accelerate the effort of the first crewed flight and what it would take to accomplish that first step of pushing humans farther into space. The SLS and ORION missions, coupled with those promised from record levels of private investment in space, will help put NASA and America in a position to unlock those mysteries and to ensure this nation’s world pre-eminence in exploring the cosmos.

This is incredibly stupid. That first flight will be the very first time SLS will fly. It will also be flying with an upper stage engine that has also never flown before. It will take the Orion capsule to the Moon, when the capsule itself has not yet even done one orbit around the Earth. To put people on it makes no engineering sense at all.

Feb 16, 05:07 AM
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