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[i]A report by NASA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) this week warned that a flat funding profile for the agency's new crew vehicle could result in delays in its development. The OIG report concluded that the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle faces those delays since its development is being funded at a steady level of about $1 billion per year, rather than in a more classical "bell curve" funding profile for new programs. Some tests of the Orion have been pushed back, including a test of the vehicle's abort system that has been delayed four years to 2018. Those issues could also create cost overruns for the program as well. The flat future budgets projected for Orion, and NASA in general, also mean that development of other systems to enable crews flying on Orion missions to land on planetary bodies would be deferred until some time in the 2020s.[/i]
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