I hope all of my U.S. readers had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
NASA's next unmanned mission with the Orion spacecraft and the 1st ever flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) is called Exploration Mission-1.
|Orion and ESA Service Module NASA|
This will be a very important test of Orion, SLS and the European Space Agency's Service Module. It excites me to think we will be sending a manned rated spacecraft to the Moon and orbiting beyond it. EM-1 will be the test run for the first manned mission of Orion and SLS possibly in late 2021 or later.
EM-1 is slated for launch in late 2018 with the first manned launch of Orion-SLS slipping from 2021 to 2023.
You have to remember that NASA is building all of this hardware on a shoestring budget as there has been no significant plus up to NASA's budget. The FY16 $18.6 billion pays for the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, building the James Webb Space Telescope, spacecraft exploring the solar system, weather satellites, R&D, aerospace and safety.
We get ALOT from NASA. Too bad the U.S. Congress doesn't see that and elects to pay the Russians almost half a billion dollars for seats on their Soyuz instead of paying more into NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
Sky Guy in VA