13 thoughts on “Charlie Bolden”

  1. It took him a long time to get there but hey – credit to Bolden for changing his mind when the facts changed.

    Unfortunately, the people who really need their minds changed work up on Capitol Hill.

  2. In 2014 Charlie Bolden actually said:

    Let’s be very honest. We don’t have a commercially available heavy-lift vehicle. The Falcon 9 Heavy may some day come about. It’s on the drawing board right now. SLS is real.

    So I have now come to realize what “SLS” stands for: “Schrodinger’s Launch System.” It is both on the drawing board and real at the same time. And now, dead as well. So, tri-state actually: Imagined, real, and dead, and gives a whole new meaning to “really dead.”

  3. “”It could go away during a Biden administration or a next Trump administration… because at some point commercial entities are going to catch up.”

    We are already there. Commercial entities surpassed NASA capabilities a long time ago. Bear in mind, this isn’t about NASA’s past accomplishments but what they are capable of doing right now.

    Just because there are better options than SLS, that doesn’t mean it will go away. I’d like to believe the program will fall under its own weight but I’ve become increasingly cynical of our government and institutions being able to make good choices.

    1. When I saw the two boosters return for a perfect landing on the first falcon 9 heavy; it was like going back and time and seeing the extinction event that ended the dinosaurs, except this time it marked the end of NASA. Not all the dinosaurs died immediately either, but the die was cast and it was only a matter of time.

  4. “The Falcon Heavy is not as capable as the SLS rocket”. A sounding rocket is infinitely more capable that the SLS rocket. Anything capable of clearing a launch pad is infinitely more capable. They don’t have a rocket and by all appearances will never have a rocket.

  5. Has there been any update on the *actual* likely capability of SLS to various trajectories, such as LEO, TLI, etc?

    The reason I ask is that part of its performance was predicated on the “enhanced” performance of the new RS-25 version, which does not seem to be panning out as promised. So, at 149 million a pop, those engines will have little to no more performance (in either T/W or ISP) than Shuttle RS-25Ds. But, the SLS performance numbers haven’t changed to reflect this.

    It’s as if they know it’ll never fly – and thus, it can have any numbers they want.

    1. If they provided new numbers, would you believe them. I suspect not, based on your final words. It reminds me of the early days of ISS when they started posting the assembly flight schedule, and the moment it was made “official baseline”, we already knew the dates couldn’t possibly be met. Most of the time the schedules were based on planned hardware delivery milestones, no consideration of change delays already up consideration, and completely devoid of the knock on delays to completing software deliveries, which had to be done after hardware delivery to allow for integrated testing (and forget consideration of delays from quality defects discovered during testing, everything would be just fine as if testing wasn’t even needed other than to boost budgets).

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