Orion’s Launch Abort System Test Delayed Written 6 February 2019

The Houston Chronicle reports that the recent government shutdown “continues to claim victims at NASA,” which is delaying a planned “emergency system test for the Orion spacecraft being built to take humans back to the moon.” NASA officials “confirmed this week that the launch of the Orion test module, previously scheduled for April from Cape Canaveral, Fla., would be delayed.” NASA hopes to determine a revised launch date next week. According to Orion Program Manager Mark Kirasich, the new date “is going to be past where we were, but it’s not going to be more than the duration of the shutdown.” The three-minute launch will test the module’s “primary safety feature, known as the launch abort system.” However, Kirasich said that the shutdown is not currently expected to affect Orion’s planned test flights. Once the launch abort test is complete, the “simplified” test module will not be reused, and additional capsules “for the unmanned and crewed missions are under construction.”
More Info (Houston Chronicle