Despite budget boost, Space Launch System will not fly before 2018

December 17, 2014 11:59 AM

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NASA’s heavy-lifting mega-rocket and its ground support systems at Kennedy Space Center in Florida will not be ready for launches until at least mid-2018, even with extra funding approved by Congress, the space agency’s senior human spaceflight official told lawmakers.

The agency’s fiscal year 2015 budget includes more than $3.2 billion for human space exploration — $1.7 billion for NASA’s huge Space Launch System rocket and nearly $1.2 billion for the Orion crew capsule.

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