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NASA to consider use of private rockets for first Orion lunar mission
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Mar 13, 2019 11:14 AM 1+ week ago

by Eric Berger - Mar 13, 2019 3:14 pm UTC

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell receives an American flag from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during a NASA event in Houston to announce astronaut crews.

On Wednesday morning, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine appeared before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to discuss how to ensure US leadership in space. He used the appearance to make what is, for the aerospace community at least, a shocking announcement about the oft-delayed first launch of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion crew capsule.

"SLS is struggling to meet its schedule," he said. "We are now understanding better how difficult this project is, and it's going to take some additional time. I want to be really clear. I think we as an agency need to stick to our commitment. If we tell you, and others, that we're going to launch in June of 2020 around the Moon, I think we should launch ...

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