Monday, May 17, 2010
Until Congress officially terminates the Constellation program, NASA has to keep working as though it's still on. And perhaps in an effort to demonstrate the project's viability and keep it alive, they've accelerated development, bumping up the first manned launch of the Ares I rocket to November 2014.
President Obama has proposed that development of the Orion capsule, designed to sit atop the Ares I rocket, be continued to serve as a lifeboat for astronauts on the International Space Station. Critics have argued that using Orion in that capacity is an enormous waste of money.
Pictured here, the Ares I-X test vehicle, which flew on October 28, 2009.