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NASA resets date for SLS rocket’s debut for 2020

Will it fly on 2019 or 2020? NASA’s latest schedule for the maiden launch of its heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket has it both ways. Today the space agency said June 2020 is now the official time frame for Exploration Mission-1, or EM-1, which would send the SLS and NASA’s Orion capsule on an uncrewed trip beyond lunar orbit and back. But in an SLS status update, NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said a December 2019 date is still possible if planners address the manufacturing and production schedule risks that were identified during a review of the project.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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