17 thoughts on “The Ongoing SLS Programmatic Disaster”

  1. Sure there is enough money to get you to do the job. Of course it would be enough that you could build your own company into something that would embarrass your employer.

    “Attention on the concourse, first class passengers to LEO on Simberg Flight 1107 begin boarding now.”

  2. NASA should announce a new commercial launch program where the launchers have to deliver the same mass to LEO/GEO/Cis-lunar space as SLS. Put the yearly funding at the same level SLS/Orion gets. Have a scheme for equally distributing the funds to participants based on meeting goals. Set a time limit of five years and see how many companies can make a SLS class launcher before the actual SLS flies.

    The key here is not to cancel SLS but to embarrass everyone involved with SLS. Elite levels of embarrassment are not cheap but are certainly affordable. The effort should be funded on a 10% yearly tax of ivy league endowment revenue growth. Any money sustainable gathered above the yearly expenditure of SLS is to be set on fire on the launch pad to be used by SLS as a sacrifice to the rocket gods.

  3. Hey, look on the bright side. If their projection is correct and it will take an extra $1.2B to get to EM-1 in June 2020, this is money that NASA can’t spend on the much hated deep space gateway. On top of that Orion won’t just stop spending during the delay so there goes another billion or so. If my mortgage payment depended on the DSG, I’d be worried.

  4. When was the last time Boeing delivered a contract on time, and on budget?

    How about that KC-46? Hows that coming along? An established airframe, and Boeing invented boom refueling….and they can’t make it work.

    1. By all accounts the X-37b spaceplanes are a success but I couldn’t tell you if they were on time and budget.

  5. To be fair, I have an ongoing problem estimating how long it takes me to get ready for work in the morning. It’s an established routine: Get up, take shower, make coffee, feed cat, drink coffee, make lunch, and pick up fast food breakfast on my way to work.

    Yet no matter how often I do it, I always arrive at work between 2-5 minutes late. My boss once marveled at my consistency.

    At least I’m not using taxpayer money, though.

  6. I think that at this point, it is very reasonable to ask which will be operational first; SLS, or SpaceX’s BFR/BFS?

    Please note I said “operational”, not “first flight”. I think it will be years between EM1 and EM2, and EM1 is an unmanned test flight that won’t even test full up hardware. (for example, no life support equipment in the capsule, etc, etc).

    On the other hand, first flight might go to BFR too. SpaceX is notorious for schedule slips, but this is the SLS debacle we’re talking about.
    And while we’re speculating, anyone want to guess which date or event they’ll choose to announce that SLS has slipped again?

    1. Oh, they’re fine. Aborted with a 7G re-entry. Future Soyuz flights are grounded. I wonder if NASA has considered launching American astronauts on something like a Falcon 9? They might want to look into that.

        1. As long as SLS stays on the ground it will be able to maintain a 100% safety rating among the astronaut corps. NASA’s highest priority.

  7. And now Forbes has published a nonsensical defense of Boeing by … the Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2018/10/11/epic-fail-inspector-general-attack-on-nasa-super-rocket-marred-by-mistakes-omissions/#6249ddc86070 .

    Speaking of nonsensical, I’ll eat my hat if any of SLS’s supposed free-market-loving supporters in Congress makes a peep about this report. I’m lookin’ at you, Sen. Cruz. Ditto for those supposed swamp-draining enthusiasts in the White House.

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