Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Space Launch System

  • NASA OIG: SLS unlikely to launch in 2018

    Jason RhianApril 15th, 2017

    NASA.s Office of Inspector General has issued an audit detailing how the agency's Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) will likely not launch in 2018. This might be a moot point as NASA is considering flying EM-1 with a crew, which would push the launch to 2019 anyway. These are some of the issues facing the first flight of the agency's new rocket.

  • NASA’s human spaceflight plans come into focus with announcement of Deep Space Gateway

    Curt GodwinApril 1st, 2017

    With NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) well into development, the agency has finally laid out plans for the early missions of its super-heavy-lift rocket. After an initial shakedown flight for Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), the SLS will deliver components of what has been designated a "Deep Space Gateway" to lunar vicinity.

  • NASA conducts 13th test of Space Launch System RS-25 engine

    Lloyd CampbellMarch 25th, 2017

    The powerful RS-25 engine that will be used on NASA's new super-heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) underwent its 13th test March 23, 2017, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

  • NASA conducts successful Orion parachute test

    Lloyd CampbellMarch 14th, 2017

    NASA conducted another Orion parachute test on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, and the test vehicle performed perfectly. A C-17 aircraft lifted the Orion engineering model equipped with instrumentation to document the test, to a height of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) before releasing it for its controlled descent.

  • Orion update: progress and setbacks in February 2017

    Mackenzie KaneMarch 13th, 2017

    NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Hensel Phelps Construction Co. successfully completed the modifications to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in early February, making room for the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne completes testing of Orion spacecraft auxiliary engines

    Jim SharkeyMarch 6th, 2017

    Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed hot-fire acceptance testing of eight auxiliary engines that will be used on the first flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The flight, called Exploration Mission (EM) 1, is scheduled to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in 2018.

  • EM-1 could become Apollo 8 for the 21st century

    Derek RichardsonFebruary 24th, 2017

    NASA is taking a hard look at having crew fly on the first integrated mission of the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) super-heavy-lift rocket and Orion spacecraft. At present, NASA is only undertaking a feasibility study, reviewing what risks would be incurred, what needs to be added to allow for this happen, and what potential benefits could be had.

  • RS-25 engine test firing seen from drone

    Derek RichardsonFebruary 24th, 2017

    Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, conducted a test of the RS-25 engine on the A-1 Test Stand. A NASA drone revealed never-before-seen imagery of the more than six-minute-long firing.

  • ULA gives sneak peek at SLS’ second stage before it gets shipped to Florida

    Curt GodwinFebruary 20th, 2017

    DECATUR, Ala. — United Launch Alliance invited media to their rocket factory in northern Alabama to get a look at the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage flight hardware for NASA's Space Launch System. SpaceFlight Insider was on hand at this event and had a chance to speak with industry insiders.

  • KSC showcases its future as multi-user spaceport

    Bart LeahyFebruary 17th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA has made major strides in its seven-year effort to transform Kennedy Space Center (KSC) into a multi-user spaceport for both itself as well as private rocket companies.

  • NASA studying the possibility of adding crew to EM-1

    Curt GodwinFebruary 16th, 2017

    On Feb. 15, 2017, Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator, announced that he was ordering a study on the feasibility of adding a crew to Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). This would mark a significant change from the agency's current mission roadmap, which has EM-1 flying uncrewed in 2018, with crew ultimately launching several years later on EM-2.

  • Tornado damages NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility

    Jason RhianFebruary 7th, 2017

    NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) was the site of a confirmed tornado strike at 11:25 a.m. CST (12:25 p.m. EST / 17:25 GMT). So far, only minor injuries have been reported and NASA is accounting for all of its personnel and contractors as well as assessing damage caused by the storm.

  • Orion service module completes testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station

    Michael ColeJanuary 23rd, 2017

    SANDUSKY, Ohio — The European-built Orion service module is progressing successfully through its campaign of testing in preparation for EM-1, scheduled for late 2018. Engineers and technicians at NASA's Plum Brook Station testing facility in Sandusky, Ohio, carried out an exhaustive series of tests on the service module test article throughout 2016.

  • Massive SLS test stand completed at Marshall

    David BrownJanuary 13th, 2017

    NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama, recently marked the completion of major construction for Test Stand 4693, wrapping up work that began in May 2014. Engineers will now connect networks of cables, pipes, valves control systems, cameras, and other equipment needed to test the massive Space Launch System (SLS) hydrogen tank.

  • Insider Exclusive: BFF’s long history continues with work on EM-1

    Jason RhianDecember 28th, 2016

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — These days, when most people hear the acronym BFF, they think "Best Friends Forever", but the words "Booster Fabrication Facility" likely do not top that list. When it comes to NASA's 2018 Exploration Mission 1, perhaps it should.