SLS is the backbone for a permanent human presence in deep space, for multiple missions to the moon and eventually to Mars and beyond. As NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated in his address to the National Space Council, we’re working relentlessly to develop SLS to do what is absolutely necessary to support a NASA launch in 2020.
Boeing and NASA have implemented changes in both processes and technologies to accelerate production, without sacrificing safety or quality, and we remain on schedule to deliver the first SLS core stage to NASA by the end of the year.
As the commercial launch alternative studies have shown, NASA has affirmed that SLS remains the best approach to achieve our lunar objectives with a reconfirmation of the importance of the Exploration Upper Stage by EM-3. SLS is also the world’s only super heavy rocket capable of safely transporting astronauts to deep space with major payloads like landers, habitats and Gateway elements.
America needs SLS’ deep-space capability in order to maintain our leadership in human space exploration. We are committed to supporting the vision outlined by Vice President Pence today.
NASA plans to send astronauts back to the surface of the moon within a decade using a sustainable architecture that stresses reusable vehicles and open systems, Administrator Jim Bridenstine said last week.
“So how do we go sustainably?” Bridenstine said during a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). “We start by taking advantage of capabilities in this country that didn’t exist even five or 10 years ago. We have commercial companies that can do things that weren’t possible even a few years ago….
“India is planning to hoist the tricolour on the moon by 2020, a space agency official said here Sunday, adding that the country’s first manned flight into space was also on cards by 2015.
“K. Radhakrishnan, member of the Space Commission and director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said plans were afoot to send a two-member crew into space and orbit around 200 km away from the earth by 2015.”
As the Bush Administration limps toward the finish line, analysts are trying to work out what the American space program should look like in the future.Â The Space Review has been examining these issues over the last few weeks.
In part 1 of this series, we made the case that the current plan to achieve the Vision for Space Exploration may well be unsustainable and unaffordable in the face of huge financial pressures created by the coming retirement of the baby boomers. In part 2 of this series, we suggested a Plan B strategy for achieving the goals of the VSE, which is credible even if NASAâ€™s budget is significantly cut in the coming decade….Now, in part 3 of this essay, we make specific recommendations on â€œhowâ€ our nation should proceed to achieve cheap and reliable access to space (CRATS).
Last Friday representatives of the three remaining major presidential candidates gathered in Washington to discuss space policy. Jeff Foust reports that the discussion ended with many of the questions about the candidatesâ€™ policies left unanswered.