Project Orion Faces First Hold-up

NASA internal planning, official’s comments and contractor expectations suggest the much touted goal of manned flights of new crew vehicle Orion before 2014 are unrealistic

NASA will fail to meet its goal of flying manned Orion missions before 2014, as the first delay emerges for the new spaceship’s development timetable just a week after its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, was selected.

NASA administrator Michael Griffin had wanted Orion’s development accelerated because the four-year gap between the Space Shuttle’s 2010 retirement and the new spacecraft’s planned 2014 operational debut was deemed unacceptable. The prime contractor selection process was even adjusted for changes introduced by NASA to accelerate Orion.… Read the rest