Technical uncertainty over a crucial piece of upper-stage hardware and election-year uncertainty over budgets are dimming NASA’s desire to attach a small habitat—possibly based on the Orbital ATK Cygnus or other pressurized commercial module—to the first human mission with an Orion crew capsule riding on a heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS). Human-exploration managers have until the end of the summer to make a final decision. By August, or perhaps as late as September, ...


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