NASA rejects Trump's request for manning space rocket

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New York [U.S.], May 13 (ANI): NASA will be launching its Space Launch System in 2019, but has ruled out putting a crew on board. In February, the President Trump asked NASA to look into the possibility of manning the Space Launch System, which is scheduled to launch in a year and a half, a request that was turned down by NASA managers, citing technical risks, The New York Times reported. The spacecraft which has been designed to eventually send astronauts to Mars represents a robust foundation for ultimately moving human presence out into the solar system but, NASA's Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said his space agency concluded - alongside White House officials - that their initial "baseline plan was best", which would mean "leaving [the rocket] EM-1 unmanned". But it would have cost an extra £465 million ($600 million) to £698 million ($900 million) to put humans on-board, funds the space agency does not have. The new big new rocket- Space Launch System is a heavy lift rocket for deep space missions and will be an unmanned three week mission that will go thousands of miles past the moon. President Trump even joked during a video chat with two space station crew members, about launching astronauts to Mars " during my first tenure, at least, during my second term." (ANI)