NASA's New Launch Software Is Way Over Budget and Behind Schedule

By Jamie Condliffe on at

When it’s built, NASA’s new Space Launch System will hopefully take us to Mars and deep space. But there may be delays aside from the hardware: Sadly its special new launch software is a year behind schedule and 77 per cent above its 2012 budget.

ABC News reports that NASA’s inspector general has carried out an audit to establish how the software project was developing. It showed that the software is expected to be finished by fall 2017—when it was originally scheduled for completion this summer. The total cost of development is now expected to reach at least $207 million (£143.8 million).

The software will be used to control and monitor all the systems at launch. But according to ABC News, the delays means that new features, such as automatic failure detection, are being skipped over in the current build.

The audit suggested that the space agency may be better off simply adopting commercial software that’s used by the like of SpaceX. But apparently the reports notes that there’s a“reluctance to change course [that] reflects a cultural legacy at NASA of over-optimism and over-promising what the agency can achieve in a specific timeframe.”

The Space Launch System is planned to make its first flight with an unmanned Orion module in in 2018.

[ABC News]