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Waspie_Dwarf

Orion test flight schedule to be reassessed

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Schedule for full-up Orion test flight to be reassessed

Overweight and struggling with design delays, the European-built service module for the Orion crew exploration vehicle may not be ready for a much-anticipated test flight by the end of 2017.

The preliminary design review for the Orion spacecraft's critical engine and power element is now on track for May after a six-month delay to contend with weight issues, according to Thomas Reiter, director of the European Space Agency's human spaceflight and operations programs.

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ESA chief says Orion service module will be ready in 2017

The head of the European Space Agency says he has promised NASA the service module for the Orion crew exploration capsule will be delivered in time for an unmanned test flight by the end of 2017 despite problems with mass and development delays.

The service module's preliminary design review, a major developmental milestone in which engineers assess the maturity of the spacecraft's design, was delayed late last year from November to the spring.

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