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NASA Sets a New Target Date for Space Launch System’s Maiden Flight

spacex launchThe flight test of NASA‘s Space Launch System, originally scheduled for December 2017, could be delayed until November 2018 due to financial and technical issues in the project, Reuters reported Wednesday.

“We want to commit to this (November 2018) date and show that we can meet it,” Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate administrator, told reporters during a conference call.

Irene Klotz writes that a General Accountability Office report estimates that it will cost the space agency $12 billion to build the first of three SLS variations and associated ground infrastructure.

GAO also found the heavy-lift rocket program is almost $400 million short of reaching its original target goal for debut launch, according to Reuters.

The SLS is designed to lift 77 tons into orbit approximately 100 miles above Earth and to support manned missions to Mars, asteroids or the moon.

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