But NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement on Tuesday that none of his alternatives gave the agency the opportunity to stay "within our timeline and within budget".
Now, government officials are pushing pressure on Boeing to accelerate the development of the long overdue rocket, called the Space Launch System or SLS. The space agency commissioned Boeing in 2012 to build SLS core components.
Bridenstein's comments came after US Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday at a National Space Council meeting in Alabama that the news of further suspension with the SLS program was "a big disappointment." "and the current timeline is just not good enough. "
Pence announced that the Trump administration is asking NASA to put the astronauts back on the moon by 2024, which would require a drastic acceleration in SLS development.
He also issued a warning Boeing: "To be clear, we are not committed to any contractor," Pence said. "If our current contractors can not achieve this, we will find those who will do so."
Boeing told CNN Business in one Explanation that it has recently "some breakthroughs in innovating" and is working with NASA "to comply with the scheduling agreement."
Bridenstine said after NASA was "confident" that SLS was for one unkempt test flight in 2020 and possibly set up the missile for an occupying mission soon thereafter.
The Background Story
Boeing began building the SLS main stage, the backbone of the rocket, about seven years ago. Officials said at the time that SLS would be ready to fly in December 201
An overview report released five months ago blew up "Boeing's poor performance" and said the cost was exceeded. It is expected that the company's cost will be doubled to at least $ 8.9 billion by 2022. NASA had already spent at least $ 11.9 billion on SLS.
During a hearing on March 13, Bridenstine baffled audiences as further delays were unacceptable, promising "all options" for launching the NASA Orion probe on one To consider unbridled Moon testing around mid-2020. These options included putting NASA's SLS out of action and buying heavy rockets – such as those from SpaceX or the United Launch Alliance – to help SLS with the upcoming mission replace.
Bridenstine said that after two weeks of studying the issue, NASA found none of the alternatives that provided a way to keep the Orion launch on time and in budget. He said commercial missiles could be used as an alternative to SLS sometime in the future.
Pence reiterated these remarks at the Space Council meeting on Tuesday when he announced the plans of the Trump administration to return astronauts to the moon in 2024.
If "commercial rockets are the only way to bring American astronauts to the moon in the next five years, then it will be commercial missiles." Pence said.
The threat to give up SLS in favor of alternatives is a new approach for government officials. Laura Forczyk, a consultant and founder of the research firm Astralytical, said that politics has little interest in investigating the threats, but they could give Boeing a necessary kick.
"Boeing had no motivation to get things done," Forczyk told CNN Business. "This gives them an incentive to speed up their schedule."