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GAO report warns SLS first launch date could slip
Posted: Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 9:42 AM ET (1342 GMT)
Space Launch System (SLS) illustration (NASA) A report issued this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned that the first launch of NASA's new heavy-lift rocket could slip by up to six months. The report found that challenges of fitting the development of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket into a flat funding profile means the program could be as much as $400 million short of what's needed to stay on schedule for a planned first launch in December 2017. That would push the first launch out by as much as six months, the GAO report noted. The report also warned of a "compressed" schedule in the development of the SLS's core stage, with much of its schedule margin already accounted for by various issues. NASA and industry officials have previously said that development of the SLS is on or ahead of schedule.
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