A new schedule, created by NASA, has provided a “preliminary, budget restricted” manifest which places the first flight of the fully evolved Space Launch System (SLS) in the year 2032. The information includes details on the chosen configuration and hardware, but provides a depressing schedule, with a flight rate of just one mission per year, after a staggered opening which results in SLS-2 waiting until 2021 to launch.It is also thought by many that NASA's delay in officially announcing an SLS configuration is a political move to help kill the program, because a second round of layoffs at key facilities which would build the SLS are due August 26th. Essentially, if they can delay the announcement long enough, the the additional expenses of having to rehire workers would help opponents kill the vehicle.
This whole thing is a disgusting mess. NASA leadership is trying to soothe public resentment over the shutdown of the Shuttle program by speaking of our grand future of exploration, but behind the scenes the Obama administration is doing everything it can to prevent it.