US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — According to NASA Assistant Deputy Director Tom Whitmeyer, the first launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) superheavy class carrier should take place at the end of 2021. The new transfer was caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated suspension of work on the key elements of the Artemis program – the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft.
Recall, as part of the Artemis 1 mission, they plan an unmanned flight around this Earth satellite. The first manned flyby of the moon will be performed as part of the second mission – Artemis 2. The task of landing a person on the lunar surface should be implemented during the third stage of the program.
Earlier, the first SLS flight and the start of the implementation of the Artemis program have been postponed more than once. So, in October last year, NASA hoped to launch a rocket in the middle of 2021, and then the start was moved to “about the second half” of next year.
At the same time, they wanted to launch the first launch of the Space Launch System back in 2017: earlier, however, the U.S. space department did not have such ambitious plans for the satellite of our planet, so the need to create an extra-heavy carrier was not so urgent.
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