NASA facing budget problems - Moon missions delayed

Posted on Thursday, March 01 2007 @ 16:56:52 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
NASA's administrator Michael Griffin announced the agency will need to delay the first new manned flight missions to the Moon because of budget constraints:
The craft, called the Orion, won't fly until early 2015, four to six months later than planned, NASA administrator Michael Griffin told lawmakers.

"We simply do not have the money available" to fly in 2014 as originally planned, he said.

The delay is the result of a $545 million difference between President Bush's request for the agency this year and the money Congress included in a spending bill Bush signed this month. Lawmakers gave the space agency the same amount of money it received in 2006.

"The net result of the decrease will be a four- to six-month delay of the Orion crew vehicle," Griffin told the Senate Commerce Committee's space subcommittee.

That's more time the U.S. will go without any manned spaceflight capability -- the Space Shuttle is slated for retirement in 2010. It will fly 13 or 14 more missions to finish the International Space Station and maintain the Hubble space telescope.

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