NASA ReportsTo Congress on the HLV and Crew Vehicle Reference Designs

NASA ReportsTo Congress on the HLV and Crew Vehicle Reference Designs

As required by section 309 of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, NASA has submitted a report to Congress on its reference designs for a new Space Launch System (SLS), more commonly known as a Heavy Lift Vehicle, and a new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). However, they do not meet the budget and schedule goals of that Act, according to the agency.

Sounding a positive note amid the continuing budget uncertainty, the report begins by stating that “This is a time of opportunity for NASA to shape a promising future for the Nation’s space program. Today it is no longer a question of IF we will explore, but how.”

Emphasizing that the guidance received from the NASA Administrator is that the systems be “affordable, sustainable, and realistic,” the report goes on to say that NASA studies to date have not yet identified “heavy lift and capsule architectures that would both meet all SLS requirements and these goals.” Instead, the agency has selected reference designs for both vehicles that they believe most closely align with the requirements of the Act, but “to be clear, neither Reference Vehicle Design currently fits the projected budget profiles nor the schedule goals” provided in the Act.

In particular, a first flight in 2016 does not appear possible within realistic budget assumptions, NASA says.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.