NASA revises its Constellation Program

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. space agency says it is revising its Constellation Program's budget, schedule and technical performance milestones.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration managers said they want to ensure the first crewed flight of the Ares I rocket and Orion crew capsule occurs by March 2015.


The Constellation Program is developing the spacecraft and systems that will take astronauts to the International Space Station after the retirement of the space shuttle, and eventually return humans to the moon.

"Since the program's inception, NASA has been working an aggressive plan to achieve flight capability before our March 2015 target," said Rick Gilbrech, associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Direc. "We are still confident the Constellation Program will make its first flight to the International Space Station on or before that date. Our new path forward better aligns our project schedules with our existing funds to ensure we can address the unplanned challenges that always arise when developing a complex flight system."

The revision comes after the U.S. Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel expressed concerns that scheduling and budgetary pressures were affecting the project.

NASA wants to retire its space shuttles fleet in 2010.


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