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[i]"Ultimately, it was my recommendation to the agency that we stay the course with the plan that we have had for many years," Gerstenmaier wrote in the memo, dated April 22, which Ars obtained. "Although there is no certainty in when we launch, I believe this is the best approach to achieving a successful EM-1 flight test and put NASA on the path to achieving an EM-2 crewed mission in 2022 and a Lunar Surface mission in 2024."
...in announcing his decision, Gerstenmaier also expressed the need for urgency.
"We must, however, have a higher degree of urgency in accomplishing EM-1 and beyond," Gerstenmaier wrote. "I ask the entire NASA/Industry community to diligently work toward the earliest EM-1 launch possible, to identify ways that we can be more efficient, and to continue to pay attention to detail to enable NASA [to have] a successful EM-1." He closed his letter by saying, "Urgency is our mantra and we must do it right."
The agency has not commented publicly on the memo. On Thursday, a spokeswoman told Ars of the green run decision, "We’re still assessing and no final decisions have been made."[/i]
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