• A thorough review of the program in recent weeks highlighted risks that threaten the crewed flight’s target launch date in August 2021, and managers concluded the mission is likely to fly some time later. NASA officials set April 2023 as the timeframe when they expect the Orion spacecraft to be ready to host humans on a flight around the moon.
  • The Orion spacecraft, designed to host four astronauts for up to 21 days in deep space, will blast off on top of NASA’s Space Launch System, a huge rocket in development borrowing propulsion and technologies from the retired space shuttle program.
  • NASA says it needs another $6.77 billion to complete development of Orion through 2023, atop $10.5 billion spent on the spacecraft since the project dawned with the Constellation program, an initiative started in 2005 under the Bush administration.

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