Administration proposes the end of EUS while Administrator considers full Exploration manifest rewrite19 Mar 2019, 18:18 UTC
Alongside last week’s Trump Administration budget proposal to cancel future Space Launch System (SLS) upgrades, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced additional changes are being considered which would overhaul the early manifest of Exploration flights. The Administration’s new budget proposes defunding the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) and related projects beginning with Fiscal Year 2020 that starts on October 1.
In subsequent Senate testimony, Administrator Bridenstine confirmed that SLS would not be able to meet the agency’s previous June, 2020, launch date commitment for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) and that NASA had started a study to look at commercial launch options to try to save the schedule. The Administrator also described additional mission changes that are under consideration in a message to the agency workforce following the announcement of the latest EM-1 study.
Under the new proposals, the next two Exploration missions for NASA’s Orion crewed spacecraft would be replaced by three missions to get back on schedule. In addition to the commercially launched EM-1, the other new missions would introduce a new lunar payload and skip the test flight for the first crewed mission in favor of an operational Orion mission to fly to the new payload.
Mothballs proposed for EUS historically ...