Moon ship design not safe for NASA space crew
Past NASA spaceships were built with enough backup safety systems "to ensure safety and reliability," from the start, the report said. But it said that because of weight problems with the Orion design, NASA has used a different approach, one "without all safeguards included" from the beginning. In the Orion project, any added safety feature would have to "earn its way in" to the design by justifying that the increased safety was worth the extra cost and weight.
That's not right, said the safety advisory panel, which includes two former space shuttle astronauts and was created after the deadly 1967 Apollo 1 fire. The panel said it is "concerned that this process may not be capable of providing adequate protection against hazards that will only come to light once the spacecraft is in operation."
NASA has long promised its first launch of Orion by March 2015, but aimed internally for September 2013 as a launch date. Now it's aiming internally for September 2014.
"The funding over the next two years became too tight for us, so I had to adjust the schedule for that," Hanley said. NASA plans to land astronauts on the moon by 2020.