NASA has launchedÂ a study of the potentialÂ advantages and disadvantages of having a flight crew on theÂ Space Launch System‘s first deployment with theÂ Orion spacecraftÂ in 2019, Space News reported Friday.
Jeff Foust writes that agency researchers are examiningÂ the feasibility ofÂ a two-person flight crew for Exploration Mission 1Â that would be flown onÂ a trajectory similar to another trajectory under consideration for the futureÂ EM-2 launch.
âWe need to go look at what do we really gain by putting crew on this flight,”Â Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA, said of the crewed EM-1 study.
“Does this really advance significantly our overall ability to get to a capability to take humans, routinely as it can be, to the vicinity of the moon and operate safely?âÂ Gerstenmaier added, according to the report.
He expects NASA to report onÂ theÂ preliminary results of the study withinÂ a month and projectsÂ the findings will fitÂ into upcoming discussions between theÂ White House and Congress about the agency’sÂ fiscal 2018 budget.