Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

First Crewed Orion Mission May Slip to 2023 |

WASHINGTON — The first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft with people on board could be delayed by more than a year to early 2023, agency officials said Sept. 16.

NASA announced that the Orion program had achieved a milestone known as Key Decision Point C (KDP-C), completing a technical and programmatic review of the spacecraft designed to carry astronauts beyond Earth orbit. That review was similar to one completed by Orion’s launch vehicle, the Space Launch System, in August 2014.

The KDP-C review found that there is a 70-percent chance Orion will be ready for its first crewed mission, Exploration Mission 2 (EM-2), no later than April 2023. The review also set a cost baseline for Orion from October 2015 through EM-2 of $6.77 billion. That figure excludes the funding spent on Orion to date, including several billion dollars during the Constellation program prior to its 2010 cancellation.

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