In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA advances a flight plan for its first test flight of the SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule with astronauts on board. SLS hydrogen propellant tank hardware moves to the Marshall Space Flight Center for ground tests. Russia plans to reduce the travel time to the International Space Station (ISS) to three hours over the next 18 months.
Human Space Exploration
“Plan D for outer space” NASA updates EM-2 mission baseline
NASAspaceflight.com (12/14): A new update from NASA explains changes in the flight profile of NASA’s Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2), the first combined test flight of the SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule with astronauts aboard. The mission will launch into Earth orbit, then fly around the Moon and return for an ocean splashdown and recovery. The changes can be attributed to a decision to launch the mission with the Block 1 version of the SLS, rather than waiting until a more powerful upper stage version is available. The first test flight, EM-1, will follow a similar course but without a crew on board.
NASA moves liquid hydrogen tank to Huntsville for testing
Associated Press via New York Times (12/14): The test version of a liquid ...