WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — NASA is simultaneously developing a giant rocket, space ship and ground control system, all of which need to be completed and integrated before the mission — known as EM-1 — can fly, the report explained.
"The EM-1 launch date is likely unachievable as technical challenges continue to cause schedule delays," the report stated. "All three programs face unique challenges in completing development, and each has little to no schedule reserve remaining between now and the EM-1 date, amid technical problems in three separate programs."
Although the November 2018 launch was originally planned as an unmanned test — with the Orion circling the moon — President Donald Trump is urging NASA to let a crew of astronauts go along for the ride.
The GAO report recommended that NASA confirm whether the current EM-1 launch date is still achievable when submitting its 2018 budget request or propose a new, realistic launch date.