more at: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08...ement_delayed/
NASA has put back the planned launch of its Orion spacecraft for a year, meaning the first test launch won't be until 2014 at the earliest.
The agency's publicly-announced deadline set by Congress to conduct a first test launch of a manned Orion capsule was 2015. Internally, though, it was hoped to fast-track this to 2013 despite technical and financial issues. NASA had hoped to keep the time between the last shuttle flight and the first Orion flight to a minimum.
"September 2014 is when we are saying we will launch the first crew on the Orion," programme manager Jeff Hanley said.
NASA hopes to complete construction of the International Space Station (ISS) and retire the space shuttle fleet in 2010, enabling its budget to be spent on developing and maintaining the Orion program.
Cost concerns are once again at the root of the delay, but NASA is also giving itself room to manoeuvre around any unforeseen technical problems that will inevitably crop up, Hanley told reporters.