(Orlando Sentinel) NASA's internal plans had called for Ares V to go to the moon in 2018, though the agency had announced a public goal of 2020. Internal deadlines are used by NASA to keep programs on track and to provide a margin of error for developmental problems. But because of growing budget woes, the agency is resetting its internal date to 2020. And privately, engineers say that means the public 2020 date to send humans back to the moon is in deepening trouble.
The news is the lastest sign of upheaval in the agency's Constellation Program which has been beset by financial and design trouble for the past few years. There is even talk now of cutting down the maximum number of crew that the Orion capsule can carry from six to four. It is the latest effort by NASA managers to reduce costs and the weight of the spacecraft.
This news (if true) could not have come at a worse time for NASA as the agency is already having trouble securing a leader after Mike Griffin left. Hopefully NASA can get its game on by 2020, otherwise we may see future Lunar citizens speaking Chinese.
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