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NASA considering commercial rockets for EM-1
Posted: Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 7:59 AM ET (1159 GMT)
Space Launch System (SLS) illustration, Oct 2015 (NASA) NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Wednesday the agency is considering flying an Orion spacecraft on commercial rockets instead of the SLS. Bridenstine said at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing that NASA was studying the feasibility of flying the EM-1 mission, which was to be the first launch of SLS, on commercial rockets because of continued delays with the SLS. Under the plan, two commercial rockets, one carrying the Orion and the other an upper stage, would carry out the mission, with the Orion docking with the upper stage in Earth orbit before going to the moon. Bridenstine said a decision on that alternative plan could be made in the new few weeks, with a goal of flying that revised EM-1 mission in mid-2020.
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