Orion and SLS: Where Are They Now?

By Amy Teitel

It’s been a little over a year since NASA announced its intention to build the Space Launch System or SLS, the rocket that will be bigger and more powerful than the Saturn V. Its payload is set to be the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Apollo-inspired capsule that is slated to take men to the Moon, Mars, and asteroids at some still-undefined point in the future. Last Wednesday, the Republican Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held a hearing to examine ongoing developments of Orion and SLS. The word from NASA is that both projects are moving forward. But schedules are starting to slip, and things will only get worse if the agency faces further budget cuts.

Testifying at the September 12 hearing were Cleon Lacefield, Vice President and Orion Program Manager from Lockheed Martin; Boeing Space Exploration Vice President and SLS Stages Program Manager Jim Chilton; NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development Daniel L. Dumbacher; and Matt Mountain, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The overall feeling, as Dumbacher vocalized it, is that SLS and Orion “fit well within a broader U.S. launch strategy” and remain “fundamental building blocks in a capability-based architecture designed for long-term human exploration of our solar system.” The Orion/SLS system, of course, runs parallel thought separate from NASA’s ongoing work with commercial partners.

Read more: Orion and SLS: Where Are They Now? « AmericaSpace

Home           Top of page