Managing a supply chain successfully isn't rocket science”¦right? If that's true, then NASA has a lot of explaining to do: According to this article by Frank Morring, Jr., the contractors working on NASA's next manned spaceships are having a hard time finding suppliers for qualified materials. So much so that they are slipping on schedule and experiencing even budget concerns: Testifying before the House Science space and aeronautics subcommittee, Lockheed Martin Vice President and Orion Program Manager Cleon Lacefield said today that the lead times for radiation-hardened electronic parts and other specialized hardware is a major challenge for meeting schedule. “I think our supply chain in the United States is very fragile,” Lacefield said. “When we look at the triple-e parts needed for avionics, all the electronic components, in the environment that we see, which is a radiation environment in deep space, those components are very hard to find in the United States right now.” Morring explains that flight schedules must be kept, so the agency is attempting to source as many materials throughout the country as possible. The problem is compounded by NASA's on process for building and testing the vehicle: much like a supply chain itself, each step builds on top of the last. Without the first step (gaining the materials and components necessary), being completed, the entirety of the project grinds to a halt.