Washington: NASA’s unmanned first trial launch of its giant Space Launch System (SLS) space rocket with the Orion 1 lunar spacecraft integrated on it has been delayed for at least one month and will not now take place until May at the earliest and possibly June, US space agency officials told a press conference.
“[The] launch date will not be set till after the Wet Test,” NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development Tom Whitmeyer said on Thursday. “[There is] no launch commitment date as yet.
We are looking at a May launch window.” The May launch window extends from May 7 to May 21, NASA officials said. However, on February 2, Lead Flight Director Mike Serafin told an earlier press conference that NASA was looking at the April 8 to April 23 time window for the launch and that information on it then looked “pretty solid.” “[The] June launch period opens on June 6 and closes on June 16. … [The next one] opens on June 29 and it will close on July 12,” Serafin told reporters on Thursday.
Serafin said the integrated SLS, the largest rocket ever built with the Orion 1 spacecraft on it, was scheduled to be rolled out on its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida on March 17 and was likely to stay there going through its wet dress rehearsal checks for the next month.