NASA might now use a commercial rocket to fly its Orion crew capsule around the moon
A long-standing plan to launch the moon mission Orion on board the massive Space Launch System (SLS) is being rethought.
The news: NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has just delivered some unexpected news. Before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Wednesday morning, he opened up the possibility of using commercial rockets to first launch the Orion Crew Capsule (without an actual crew on board, to begin with). That marks a big change from using the planned Space Launch System (SLS), the largest (and much-delayed) rocket that's ever been built in US history.
What he said:
"SLS is struggling to meet its schedule. It was originally intended to launch in December in 201
Pick your rocket: While he did not directly name any possible rockets, there are only two realistic possibilities: United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy and SpaceX's Falcon Heavy. But there's still a long way to go before they would be ready.