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NASA Orion crew exploration vehicle (updates)

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Draggendrop    5,747

FlyingPigCraft.thumb.jpg.dcbce3f23636458

with mission patch....

Pigsinspacelogo-sketch.thumb.jpg.6c3a6c7

:woot:

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Arrrgh. Where do I begin ...

- That "pretty, heat-reflective, metallic coating" is completely unnecessary. All they're doing is adding weight and that weight will throw off the balance of the spacecraft, which is now balanced properly (not top-heavy) after the Engineers & Laborers building the damned thing just trimmed 20% of the weight just by doing some smart ... well, Engineering. The spacecraft was already designed to withstand the reentry temperatures on the outer skin iirc via a circulatory liquid cooling system like the ISS has. What's the matter, the liquid cooling system didn't scale properly? The composite material that the outer shell of the craft is made out of / that was applied to it didn't work either? Good grief, don't you people test this s**t before committing it to a design?

- Tiles in place of a Heat Shield ... okay. Long as SpaceX is supplying them and the personnel to install/repair/replace them after each mission. They're much lighter than a Heat Shield too, so they'll be sure to watch the spacecraft's balance (weight distribution) carefully. We need that rear end pointing prograde and staying put when we want it to.

*sigh* Money pit. Absolute Money Pit. I could have designed a better ship using Kerbal Space Program and Autodesk Designer.

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

More like this, now.........

original.thumb.jpg.94235dd550c5664dc9588

:D

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yeah, really. SLS/Orion is really just a dog-and-pony show, now. Something for NASA to do "in the meantime" so that the Senate Science Committee has something to complain about every year during Budget Hearings. "Create your own entertainment" is the phrase that best comes to mind.

Build SLS -- fine, whatever. At this point, SpaceX and the other NewSpace companies are up to their eyeballs with other projects. The Super-Heavy LV will get some use, certainly -- and customers will buy it, if NASA is in the market to sell rides like Roscosmos does and it's a fantastic way to generate revenue. A Super-Heavy capable of 125t at the high end?! There'll be a line out the door and around the corner for booking flights. They'd have to start up RS-25 production again with all the business; and they'd be able to with all that scratch. Develop a Satellite Dispenser that can carry 16 birds at a time -- heavy, full-size birds -- into GTO at $25m~45m a head, yeah. They'll come running.

Sadly, nobody in the U.S. Government will authorize that scenario, and NASA will be left holding the blame like usual.

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DocM    16,484

More useful will be a 180-250+ tonne launcher. 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Speaking of pork....this is plain nutty.....

NASA awards new contract for rocket engine development

rs-25-flight-engine-a-1-test-stand-stenn
The new RS-25 engine developed under this contract will have fewer parts and welds and will be certified to a higher operational thrust level. The new engine benefits from improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques such as five-axis milling machines, 3-D manufacturing and digital X-rays.

NASA selected Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to restart production of the RS-25 engine for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, and deliver a certified engine. SLS will use four RS-25 engines to carry the agency's Orion spacecraft and launch explorers on deep space missions, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and ultimately to Mars.

Part of NASA's strategy to minimize costs of developing the SLS rocket was to leverage the assets, capabilities, and experience of the Space Shuttle Program, so the first four missions will be flown using 16 existing shuttle engines that have been upgraded.

Under the $1.16 billion contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will modernize the space shuttle heritage engine to make it more affordable and expendable for SLS. The contract runs November 2015 and continues through Sept. 30, 2024.

The new RS-25 engine developed under this contract will have fewer parts and welds and will be certified to a higher operational thrust level. The new engine benefits from improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques such as five-axis milling machines, 3-D manufacturing and digital X-rays.

The contract restarts the firm's production capability including furnishing the necessary management, labor, facilities, tools, equipment and materials required for this effort, implementing modern fabrication processes and affordability improvements, and producing hardware required for development and certification testing.

The contract also allows for a potential future modification that would enable NASA to order six flight engines.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the SLS Program for the agency. Engine testing will be performed at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the SLS will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NASA_Awards_Contract_to_Restart_Development_of_Engines_to_Power_Agencys_Journey_to_Mars_999.html

 "to restart production of the RS-25 engine"    implies they have the plans from prior production.

"The new engine benefits from improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques such as five-axis milling machines, 3-D manufacturing and digital X-rays."     If they did not already have this equipment in house for use on other designs, they are incompetent.

"necessary management, labor, facilities, tools, equipment and materials required for this effort, implementing modern fabrication processes and affordability improvements, and producing hardware required for development and certification testing." as if none of this is present on site.

$ 1.16 billion....to get ready......:s

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DocM    16,484

Another 'vampire that ate the NASA budget' project, the RS-25 restart has been in the works for some time. 

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Draggendrop    5,747

True...it has been planned for the "throw aways" for some time, but with time, lots, to negotiate a reasonable price for start up and a price for each engine. This is a terrible start up cost, and engine prices, probably to be released much later, will probably be terrible as well....it is surprising what NASA can accomplish with what is left over, with politicians dictating this SLS mess.

And this as well...

Aerojet Rocketdyne Signs $200 Million Contract for CST-100 Starliner Propulsion

HIGHBAY-Boeing_CST100.thumb.jpg.335f5f5b
High Bay of KSC facility used to manufacture Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 23, 2015 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), has signed a contract with Boeing valued at nearly $200 million that supports a new era of spaceflight – one that will carry humans to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil once again. Under its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) subcontract to Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne is completing the design, development, qualification, certification and initial production of the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 “Starliner” service module propulsion system.

 

Under the CCtCap contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will provide seven shipsets of hardware with options for additional shipsets. Each production hardware shipset will include four Launch Abort Engines (LAEs), 24 Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control (OMAC) engines, 28 Reaction Control System (RCS) engines, 164 valves, 12 tanks and more than 500 feet of ducts, lines and tubing. Boeing will assemble hardware kits into the service module section of the CST-100 spacecraft at its Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Aerojet Rocketdyne also provides hardware supporting the Qualification Test Vehicle; Service Module hot fire testing, which will take place at White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico; the orbital flight test, which will be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida; and Pad Abort testing, which will occur at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The CST-100 is scheduled to deliver astronauts to the ISS for NASA, beginning in 2017. 

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/11/24/aerojet-rocketdyne-signs-200-million-contract-cst100-starliner-propulsion/#more-56911

I can imagine this as well, will eventually make it back to NASA's wallet.....with poor AR not doing so well.....and Boeing can't/or won't, do this themselves? 

Look's like a race between oldspace vampires trying to beat SpaceX to the ISS.....with a heinz 57 capsule.....:s

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DocM    16,484

A year before Starliner flies they're finally signing the contracts to buy a propulsion systems for it. Figures. Last Minute Larry strikes again. 

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Draggendrop    5,747

A year before Starliner flies they're finally signing the contracts to buy a propulsion systems for it. Figures. Last Minute Larry strikes again. 

/s   It's okay...They'll test it in a wind tunnel along with the abort system....that'll make everyone comfy and safe!

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DocM    16,484

They've tested RS-88 engines on a stand, but that's not the same as a synchronized 4 engine abort sysyem for Starliner - which also has no in-quadrant redundancy. The SuperDraco pods do - if one fails the other can be throttled up and the opposing engines throttled down to balance the thrust.

Previously RS-88 was an option for the small class Bantam launcher, a liquid based LAS for Orion, as well as the the engine for Rocketplane XP -  a modified Learjet spaceplane which would have flown an SS2 style profile.

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

European Service Module Undergoes Testing

 

ooEuropean_Service_Module.thumb.jpg.bff5

Orion Service Module                          NASA

 

 

Quote

The European Service Module is ESA's contribution to NASA's Orion spacecraft that will send astronauts to the Moon and beyond. It provides electricity, water, oxygen and nitrogen as well as keeping the spacecraft at the right temperature and on course.

The cylindrical module is unpressurised and 4 m long, including the main engine and tanks for gas and propellant. During launch it is held in place by the Spacecraft Adapter and is connected to the capsule where the astronauts are by the Crew Module Adapter.

The main body of the service module is around 2 m high but its main engine, the Orbital Maneuvering System Engine, extends into the Spacecraft Adapter. Likewise, some of the equipment in ESA's service module protrudes into the Crew Module Adapter.

During launch the service module fits into a 5.2 m-diameter housing. Once Orion is above the atmosphere and the rocket fairing is jettisoned, the service module's solar array unfolds to span 19 m.

The spacecraft resembles ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle, from which it evolved. Five Automated Transfer Vehicles delivered supplies to the International Space Station and helped to keep the outpost in orbit.

Three types of engine push Orion to its destination and can turn it in all directions to align the spacecraft as needed.

Inside the Service Module, large tanks hold fuel as well consumables for the astronauts: oxygen, nitrogen and water.

Radiators and heat exchangers keep the astronauts and equipment at a comfortable temperature, while the module's structure is the backbone of the entire vehicle, like a car chassis.

The European Service Module is built by main contractor Airbus Defence and Space, with many companies all over Europe supplying components. The final product is assembled in Europe before being shipped to NASA in the USA.

http://spaceref.com/orion-1/european-service-module-undergoes-testing.html

 

In depth article at this link.....

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/12/nasa-testing-orions-european-service-module/

:)

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Draggendrop    5,747

NASA Safety Panel Worries about Schedule Pressure on Exploration Programs

 

shiny-Orion-879x485.thumb.jpg.e2e17a82b0

The ASAP report warns of several concerns with Orion, including its heat shield and life support system, that could create safety issues if NASA tries to keep the first crewed mission on a schedule for launch in 2021. Credit: NASA

 

Quote

WASHINGTON — An independent safety panel warns that “a continuing and unacknowledged accretion of risk” in NASA’s human space exploration programs, caused by schedule pressures and flat funding, could put crews on future missions in jeopardy.

 

NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), in its annual report published Jan. 13, stated it has growing concerns about a variety of issues in the development of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft that result in “an apparent erosion of safety” in those programs.

 

“Over the past year, the Panel has noted a continuing and unacknowledged accretion of risk in space flight programs that we believe has the potential to significantly impact crew safety and the safe execution of human space missions,” the report stated. “The Panel’s concern is not the result of singular action but the accumulated impact of decisions made and risks assumed — either explicitly or tacitly, in small or large steps — that have mounted up and led to an apparent erosion of safety.”

 

One specific area of concern ASAP raised in its report is the schedule for Exploration Mission 2 (EM-2), the second flight of the SLS and the first intended to carry a crew. In September, NASA announced that mission had a 70-percent chance of being ready for launch by April 2023, but that NASA would continue to work towards a launch in 2021, as originally scheduled.

 

ASAP criticized that approach. “NASA’s internal direction to the programs is to work to a 2021 EM-2 launch date, which has a schedule confidence level close to zero at requested funding levels,” the report stated, adding that NASA appeared to be making “safety trade-offs” to make that date.

The report cited several specific issues with SLS and Orion development and planning for the EM-2 mission, including development of a new SLS upper stage called the Exploration Upper Stage and testing of the life support system in Orion on that mission. The report suggested some of those concerns could be eased if NASA kept Orion in Earth orbit during that mission, rather than go into cislunar space as currently planned.

 

“This decision,” the report said of NASA’s current EM-2 plans, “reflects an aggressive development plan that takes the Exploration System from qualification testing to integrated human operations in cislunar space in just two missions.”

 

Other issues raised by ASAP include revisions to a planned in-flight abort test of Orion, changes to the spacecraft’s heat shield and “zero fault tolerant” systems in Orion’s service module, such as propellant valves, that could result in catastrophic failures of the overall spacecraft.

 

ASAP noted that SLS and Orion have received more money from Congress than what NASA has requested in recent years, but that a flat funding profile has contributed to development issues the panel found. “This distribution of resources reflects one more typically observed in ‘level-of-effort’ programs rather than a budget constructed to achieve the needed design efforts of a major program’s discrete and integrated requirements,” the report stated.

 

ASAP, which in past years has been critical of NASA’s commercial crew program, was more supportive of it in this year’s report. The panel cited “substantial improvement in openness and interaction” with program management, a concern it raised in its 2014 report. It also endorsed keeping two companies in the program, despite budget pressures.

 

However, ASAP warned that “significant challenges” still exist for the commercial crew program and the two companies, Boeing and SpaceX, currently developing crew vehicles. The panel concluded there is “a high likelihood of delays to the first test flights” scheduled for 2017, citing ongoing delays in completing reviews of the companies’ plans to certify their vehicles for carrying NASA astronauts.

 

“The Panel’s concern is that over time, schedule or budget pressure — or both — will lead the [NASA commercial crew] Program Office to accept more risk than desirable for crew and mission safety,” the report stated.

 

ASAP also cast a skeptical eye on NASA’s overall plan for sending humans to Mars, known by the agency as the “Journey to Mars.” The panel criticized a lack of technical details and mission architectures in a NASA report released in October about the Journey to Mars. Providing more details, the panel argued, “would go a long way toward gaining the needed support from future administrations, the Congress, and the general public.”

“If not,” the panel added, “then perhaps NASA should be working on a different mission, or at least using a different approach for the current mission.”

http://spacenews.com/nasa-safety-panel-worries-about-schedule-pressure-on-exploration-programs/

 

Yes...SLS got slammed...but at least they eased up on commercial crew....:)

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DocM    16,484

Lockheed says Orion is on track for fall 2018, meaning any slip takes it into 2019. No meat bags on board until 2023-ish, but said slips means 2024-2025.  

 

Also, for SpaceX's BFS to land on Mars in 2025 it would have to launch around November 2024 (optimum for that synod), meaning it could fly people before Orion.

 

/sigh

 

http://spacenews.com/lockheed-says-orion-still-on-schedule-for-2018-mission/

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Oh good grief. Kill it already. They'll be testing FX, FHX and BFR by then. 2024-2025 ... sheesh.

 

It's LH/M -- of course it's going to slip to 2025. They're gonna milk Bessie for all she's worth just to get the money.

 

And is there really a reason that damned SM is the width it is?? I mean, honestly. Widen that [bleeping] thing already. Get some real "Service" out of that "Service Module", you hacks. It's not like there's a design purpose for it to be that skinny. It looks like you're balancing a Badminton cone on the end of a chopped toilet paper tube. Yikes.

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Draggendrop    5,747

we just have to remember one image...

 

800.thumb.jpg.a41dd7bf8135ec4f98b2e5894e

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Oh yeah, that was classic. :D 

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DocM    16,484

Oh, brother

 

NASA OIG Audit of the Spaceport Command and Control System for SLS and Orion

 

Status Report From: NASA Office of Inspector General 

 

Posted: Monday, March 28, 2016

 

WHY WE PERFORMED THIS AUDIT

 

NASA's Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program is responsible for preparing the Kennedy Space Center (Kennedy) to launch the next generation of rockets and spacecraft, including the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion) NASA plans to use for deep space exploration. To accomplish this mission, the GSDO Program must move vehicles to launch pads, manage and operate the equipment required to connect spacecraft with rockets, and send the integrated vehicles into space. As part of this effort, the GSDO Program is developing the Spaceport Command and Control System (SCCS) a software system that will control pumps, motors, valves, power supplies, and other ground equipment; record and retrieve data from systems before and during launch; and monitor the health and status of spacecraft as they prepare for and launch. To create the SCCS, NASA is writing a large amount of computer code to "glue" together multiple existing software products or, in some cases, the parts of those products the Agency deems most effective for its purposes.

 

In the past, NASA has experienced difficulties with similar large, complex software development efforts. For example, between 1995 and 2002, the Agency spent more than $500 million on two separate attempts to update command and control software at Kennedy. Both efforts failed to meet their objectives and were substantially scaled back or cancelled prior to completion.

 

In this audit we examined whether NASA is effectively managing the SCCS software development effort. To complete this objective, we performed work at Kennedy, interviewed GSDO Program officials and commercial companies involved with command and control software, and reviewed various studies concerning the SCCS, Federal laws, and NASA policies.

 

WHAT WE FOUND

 

The SCCS development effort has significantly exceeded initial cost and schedule estimates. Compared to fiscal year 2012 projections, development costs have increased approximately 77 percent to $207.4 million and the release of a fully operational version has slipped by 14 months from July 2016 to September 2017. In addition, several planned capabilities have been deferred because of cost and timing pressures, including the ability to automatically detect the root cause of specific equipment and system failures. Without this information, it will be more difficult for controllers and engineers to quickly diagnose and resolve issues. Although NASA officials believe the SCCS will operate safely without these capabilities, they acknowledge the reduced capability could affect the ability to react to unexpected issues during launch operations and potentially impact the launch schedule for the combined SLS-Orion system.

 

The root of these issues largely results from NASA's implementation of its June 2006 decision to integrate multiple products or, in some cases, parts of products rather than developing software in-house or buying an off-the-shelf product. Writing computer code to "glue" together disparate products has turned out to be more complex and expensive than anticipated. As of January 2016, Agency personnel had developed 2.5 million lines of "glue-ware," with almost two more years of development activity planned. In comparison, NASA reengineered the Hubble Space Telescope command and control system with approximately 500,000 lines of "glue-ware" code.

 

Audit of the Spaceport Command and Control System March28,2016 IG-16-015 (A-15-008-00)SCCS Project managers told us the decision to develop SCCS in this manner was motivated by several factors. Managers did not want to rely on a single company's software because if that company encountered financial difficulties or stopped providing technical support NASA's space exploration efforts could be negatively impacted. In addition, at the time the decision was made, managers believed the effort to integrate the various software products would not be overly time-consuming or technically complex. While that decision may have been reasonable based on what managers knew at the time, it is now clear they underestimated the complexity of the software integration activities that would be required.

 

In the past, NASA has encountered difficulties with large and complex command and control software development efforts, failing on two occasions to meet expected requirements despite spending more than $500 million. In something of a repeat of this pattern, the SCCS development effort is more than 1 year behind schedule and significantly over cost, and several planned software capabilities have been deferred.

 

NASA made its decision regarding the SCCS software architecture nearly 10 years ago, but in our view this may no longer be the most prudent course of action given significant advances in commercial command and control software over that time. For example, the two companies under contract with NASA to deliver supplies to the International Space Station Orbital Sciences Corporation and Space Exploration Technologies both use commercial software products to accomplish their missions. In our judgment, the GSDO Program's reluctance to change course reflects a cultural legacy at NASA of over-optimism and over-promising what the Agency can achieve in a specific timeframe.

 

WHAT WE RECOMMENDED

 

In a draft of this report, we recommended the Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations commission an independent assessment to evaluate the status of the SCCS software development effort and determine the necessary steps to reduce the risk of further cost, schedule, and performance issues, including consideration of acquiring commercial command and control software to replace some or all of the system currently under development.

NASA agreed to conduct an independent assessment of the command and control system once software for Exploration Mission-1 the first launch of the combined SLS-Orion system scheduled for November 2018 is successfully delivered. We consider management's plan responsive to our recommendation. Therefore, the recommendation is resolved and will be closed upon completion and verification of the proposed corrective action.
// end //

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yep ... milking Bessie for all she's worth.

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+Mirumir    5,635

Glue-ware.

 

:) 

 

 

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DocM    16,484

Arrrggghhhh!!!!

 

@jeff_foust

“This is my PowerPoint chart to show you we’re more than a PowerPoint rocket.” - Angie Jackman, NASA/MSFC, discussing SLS.

 

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DocM    16,484

Whats wrong with this picture?

 

NASA didn't ask Congress for the money to build the Exploration Upper Stage, and they stopped work on the ICPS upper stage, so SLS has no upper stage. None. Zip. Nada. Even so, NASA still claims they'll make the Sept. 2018 launch date. 

 

It's enough to make a sentient being cry.

 

http://spacenews.com/nasa-working-towards-september-2018-slsorion-launch/

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Draggendrop    5,747
3 hours ago, DocM said:

Whats wrong with this picture?

 

NASA didn't ask Congress for the money to build the Exploration Upper Stage, and they stopped work on the ICPS upper stage, so SLS has no upper stage. None. Zip. Nada. Even so, NASA still claims they'll make the Sept. 2018 launch date. 

 

It's enough to make a sentient being cry.

 

http://spacenews.com/nasa-working-towards-september-2018-slsorion-launch/

Yes...I read that....

http://spacenews.com/nasa-working-towards-september-2018-slsorion-launch/

 

then wandered over to this....

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Thornton_leads_upgrade_of_ground_special_power_for_Orion_999.html

 

then this....

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2016/05/nasa-forgot-to.html

 

then did this.....

:s

 

// as a side note, could they mean that they "stopped the man rated work" but are continuing with non rated? It also took an employee to tell them about the electrical systems available, on something they purchased to specification.....this is shaping up to be a race like this.....

 

giphy.gif

 

:D

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Beittil    573

Totally off topic, but... Monty Phyton ftw!

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yep, makes one wonder if in fact NASA is abandoning the Man-rated portion of the SLS design, and will use it instead for non-manned missions; and will leave the Manned Missions to Boeing, LH/M and SpaceX.

 

Interesting development.

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