Main Engine Cut Off

Draft Version of the 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act

Marcia Smith, of, on the 2017 version of the NASA Transition Authorization Act:

According to a draft we’ve seen, there are three especially interesting changes. One clarifies that the primary consideration for the acquisition strategy for the commercial crew program is to carry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) “safely, reliably, and affordably.” Another directs NASA to report to Congress on how the Orion spacecraft can fulfill the provision in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act that it be able to serve as a backup to commercial crew, including with use of a launch vehicle other than the Space Launch System. The third is a finding that NASA has not demonstrated to Congress that the cost of the Asteroid Redirect Mission is commensurate with its benefits, a stronger statement than what was in the 2016 bill.

I can’t wait to see what NASA’s response to Congress will say about flying Orion on another launch vehicle.