Trump asks NASA to study feasibility of crew on rocket's flight

Trump asks NASA to study feasibility of crew on rocket's flight

Trump asks NASA to study feasibility of crew on rocket's flight

"That said, I also want to hear about the opportunities it could present to accelerate the effort of the first crewed flight and what it would take to accomplish that first step of pushing humans farther into space", Lightfoot added.

The current timeline calls for NASA's next generation rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), to send an unmanned capsule for a loop around the moon by 2019. Gerstenmaier said that a feasibility study is supposed to be finished in thirty days, but he already realizes that adding a manned crew will set back the planned launch of the SLS by three years because of launch platform changes that will be needed at the Kennedy Space Center.

That flight, Exploration Mission 1, or EM-1, is scheduled for November 2018. Moving up the timeline will require additional resources to develop and test multiple new systems at once, from life support to emergency escape capabilities. A crewed mission, under the existing plan, will fly aboard the SLS/Orion system on the EM-2 mission sometime in 2021.

However, NASA's Aerospace Advisory Panel has cautioned the government-run space agency not to pursue an early crewed mission without strong technical justification.

Under former President Barack Obama, the US space agency was working on the heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion deep-space capsule with the aim of sending astronauts to rendezvous with an asteroid in the mid-2020s, followed by a human expedition to Mars in the 2030s.

Rickie Fowler breezes to 65, 4-shot lead at PGA National
It shouldn't be surprising, because Europeans have played well in the event, especially since it moved to PGA National in 2007. The transition from YouTube trick-shot artist to PGA Tour pro is not always an easy one, but Bryan has handled it with grace.

Syria: ISIL vehicle bomb on Turkey-backed rebels 'kills dozens'
The blast devastated two adjacent rebel command posts and also seriously wounded a large number of fighters, the Observatory said. But at least six fighters were among those killed in the attack, according to Turkey's prime minister, who spoke in Ankara.

'Unfair': Hundreds of thousands out of pocket as penalty rates cut
Except for the fast food area, the Sunday penalty rates have not been brought to the same level as Saturday penalty rates. Fast food workers will have their Sunday penalty rates reduced to their Saturday rates.

On Friday, two NASA officials held a teleconference with reporters to discuss the feasibility study, and they avoided signaling whether they think adding astronauts to a test flight is a good idea.

"We recognise this will be an increased risk" to put astronauts on the initial flight, Gerstenmaier said.

Until the agency releases its report, no one will know what concrete costs or hard benefits might result from trying to please the White House, but NASA indicates that it's happy to at least consider the proposition. "This is an assessment and not a decision as the primary mission for EM-1 remains an uncrewed flight test".

NASA normally tests rockets without people on board, with a lone exception being the space shuttle debut flight of 1981 that carried two pilots on board.

However, William Hill, NASA's deputy associate administrator for exploration, said sending a crew on EM-1 will broaden possibilities on EM-2.

Related news