NASA: Let's end SLS right now

Mar 17, 2020
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I commented many times about the need and waste of money of the SLS rocket development. After two decades of design and not that much development, the government is projecting a $20 billion price tag and they are not even close to the very first launch.

Now Charles Bolden, former head of NASA , is reversing his opinion and saying that SLS should "go away". He should immediately try to gain momentum and put SLS to rest and leave the further moon rocket development to the commercial guys - Finally once and for all.
 
Oct 23, 2020
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I commented many times about the need and waste of money of the SLS rocket development. After two decades of design and not that much development, the government is projecting a $20 billion price tag and they are not even close to the very first launch.

Now Charles Bolden, former head of NASA , is reversing his opinion and saying that SLS should "go away". He should immediately try to gain momentum and put SLS to rest and leave the further moon rocket development to the commercial guys - Finally once and for all.
Generations of SpaceX models are more modern than SLS. They have more advantages so they have more chances to succeed in particular missions.
 
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Oct 23, 2020
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This is not the first time I have come across this topic, the SLS is a NASA project correct? The culture at NASA has gone horribly wrong and they are so afraid of another accident they are overbuilding and overtesting and SLS won't ever get off the ground before it is already obsolete. I agree with you, end the program now!
 
Feb 1, 2020
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SLS isn't going away any time soon.

First, NASA inherited something from the US Military. That is that they need three versions of anything from different manufacturers for redundancy. For present large space missions that is Falcon Heavy, Delta 4 Heavy and SLS. Until they have another vendor, they will be keeping SLS because it is Number 3.

Second, the most often cited replacement for SLS is the SpaceX Starship system, but that isn't actually flying yet. Given say two more years, then yes, it might. But still, then Starship simply replaces Falcon Heavy.

SLS lifts twice what Falcon Heavy lifts, but Starship is supposed to lift several times what SLS is expected to be able to do.

Third, the SLS is mandated by congress specifically. NASA can't abandon SLS without either an act of Congress or a willful violation of US law. That being the case, they won't abandon it. They will though most likely move more and more cargo to other, less expensive carriers. Currently SLS is expected to cost one to two Billion Dollars per launch. That's a serious bite for any NASA project to shoulder, since NASA has a budget of between twenty and twenty-five Billion per year. Four launches per year would bankrupt the agency. A moon base needs more than ten.

Blue Origin, if they ever get their New Glen or New Armstrong off the ground would mean that NASA could then go back to Congress and ask to have the SLS canceled, but they still need that sacred three sources for contracting purposes. By the time that happens, SLS will most likely have flown to orbit several times. To be a viable source for human spaceflight, SpaceX needs to have at least ten successful launches of the Starship system
to Earth Orbit. Orbital refueling would also be a serious plus.

But NASA is still committed to having three suppliers of anything. It's why they have three moon landers now in the works. They are most likely going to drop one of them in favor of their 'in-house' (Artimus) version if and when that is more than a paper dream.
 
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