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NASA is learning about ways to accelerate the development of SLS

WASHINGTON – A day after Vice-President Mike Pence directed NASA to return people to the moon surface by 2024, NASA's Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, told the members of the Congress that this objective had been “ very aggressive ”and would require additional funding for the organization.

Bridenstine, confirming that before the trade sub-committee, justice and the science committee of the Grants Committee House on March 27, said that the organization was exploring ways to improve the development of the Space Launch System, but that it could not be guaranteed. The coach would be ready for the first time in mid 2020.

The hearing on the 2020 financial year's budget inquiry was announced ahead of March 26 of the National Space Council in Huntsville, Alabama, where Pence directed NASA to accelerate his research plans for sending people t ashore at the southern pole of the moon inside. five years. Bridenstine, who was at the meeting, expressed his support for the plan and said he would make continued use of the SLS, removing from previous fortnight's proposals to consider the use of commercial publishing vehicles. for Research (EM) 1 Orion in mid-2020.

Bridenstine confirmed that commitment to using SLS for EM-1 at the hearing. “While some of the options are feasible,” he said of the two-week review that looked at commercial options for EM-1, “none of these options is going to be held within a budget and its budget. timetabled. “He didn't do much on the particular choices the group considered.

NASA is now looking at ways to accelerate the development of SLS for EM-1. “How do we really accelerate the SLS at this stage?” He said.

Bridenstine announced that NASA is undertaking a 45-day audit to look at ways of accelerating work on the SLS, with a particular focus on the fundamental stage, which has been the main reason for delays in delays. the vehicle. That report will be completed “in a two-week period,” he said.

Options include the removal of the “green run” test of SLS standard, which would take the level from Michoud Investment Facility to the Stennis Space Center and pilot it on a trial basis. T there are four RS-25 levels. eight minutes engine burning. By deleting the exam and completing the completed result into the Kennedy Space Center, previously said business sources, this could save several months in the EM-1 register.

“The question is, is that necessary? ”Bridenstine said. “Could we test each individual device on very high -type types for access, or at least eliminate such risk, or near risk, as could we run if we ran the green. “Doing that, he said, it could save six months of timetables.

The idea for eliminating the green running test was addressed by one committee member, Rep Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Who has a home area of ​​Stennis. He asked Bridenstine to get information about the alternatives to that test.

Palazzo, a former member of the sub-committee of housing, provided evidence that previous hearings from astronauts suggest “the importance of the testing of their rocket devices and their scrutiny properly. as you only get one chance, 'he said. “You don't try a rocket when you're tied into that rocket. ”

An alternative approach to accelerating the program is how aspects of the key stage are integrated. Bridenstine said that NASA was already retrieving the tools that were being passed for connecting the basic element rather than just integrating it.

Bridenstine suggested that flat integration would allow other parts of the main SLS stage to come together as the work progresses on the more complex and high-performing section of the engine t time than was first expected. “We are trying to move that sector out of the essential route,” he said.

Although these measures and other measures could cut down on the agenda for months, a short Bridenstine stopped to say that EM-1 could still happen in June 2020, the formal date for the mission. By feeling that there would be a delay further away by June 2020, scrutiny of commercial start-up vehicles started earlier this month to find ways to allow EM-1 to start in the middle of next year.

“Will we meet the publication date in June 2020? I don't think that is in the cards, ”he said. “But I believe we can accelerate speeds from a location that we were originally told to put forward that date could be a two-year element or so. I think we can make progress sooner. ”

Once the mission of EM-1, and the mission of EM-2, is the first for the mission, Bridenstine spoke about making up SLS and Orion to support two publications each year. Members also urged commitment to develop a Block 1B version of SLS with the more robust Research Phase, at a more powerful level, as well as a second mobile platform designed specifically for SLS Block 1B.

However, Bridenstine has not extended the specific plan which will allow people to return to the moon surface by 2024, or its estimated cost. Once at a hearing, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), One of the members who applied for SLS Block 1B and a second mobile opening device, was the budget application delivered to Congress earlier this month. T for human return with 2024.

“If we are to send boots on the moon in 2024, as the vice-president said yesterday and I believe we can achieve it, we need to. SLS, and we have to accelerate it and get as many of these numbers as we can. As soon as possible, and we need Upper Exploration Stage as soon as possible; yes, ”replied Bridenstine. “2024 scrolls very aggressively. ”

“So I accept that everything means that we need more funding to achieve these aims,” said Christ. Bridenstine offered an one-word answer: “Yes.”

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