Following the successful EFT-1 mission, why didn't NASA start launching crews to the ISS on the Orion spacecraft? This question deals about why crews weren't sent to the Moon, but I wonder why wasn't the Delta IV Heavy with Orion used for manned LEO flights following the retirement of the Space Shuttle and before the Crew Dragon flights started? Is it because the launch pads would have to be rebuilt much? I guess it would have been beneficial for the Artemis program to test the spacecraft in manned flights, similar to Apollo 7.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The other answer to the linked question may be useful here. Certifying a rocket for crewed spaceflight is a lot of work. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2022 at 15:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CharlesStaats Yes, but you do it not because it is easy, but because it is hard. The same standards to fullfil apply to Crew Dragon or CST-100. $\endgroup$
    – user46063
    Jan 9, 2022 at 16:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't believe the Delta IV is man-rated. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jan 9, 2022 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ Let me point you to a 2009 NASA study: Human Rated Delta IV Heavy Study Constellation Impacts. I don't have time to digest it into an answer now, perhaps someone else will. TL;DR: The RS-68 needed extensive changes to be safe enough for human cargo. $\endgroup$
    – TooTea
    Jan 10, 2022 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ You mentioned CST-100. Are you aware that all remaining Atlas V flights are sold out, and CST-100 is thus without a launch vehicle (after the current contract)? $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2022 at 6:36


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.