In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA says current planning calls for modification of the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) that will support the first Space Launch System (SLS)/Orion mission in 2019 in order to support future flights of an upgraded SLS, rather than build a costly second MLP. Auditors raise new concerns over the launch plans, cost of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). United Launch Alliance is poised for the second launch of an advanced U.S. weather satellite on Thursday evening.
Human Space Exploration
NASA no longer seeking to develop second mobile launcher for SLS
Space News (2/28): At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center engineers plan to modify the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) that is to serve as the launching pad for the first test flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion rocket, Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), to prepare it for a second test flight and the first of the SLS and Orion with astronauts on board, rather than manufacture and assemble a second version of the costly platform. That promises to pace the launch of Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2), the first test flight with astronauts. Bill Hill, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, explained the strategy Wednesday before ...