17 thoughts on “No Matter How Bad You Think It Is”

  1. “House Science Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson”

    I has successfully forgotten that. Now I need a drink.

      1. What are the odds she’ll be replaced by someone less stupid? Ok, maybe they’re pretty good, if we’re talking about the seat on that committee, but pity the poor people in Dallas who are, no doubt, going to replace her with someone just as bad. Ok, maybe don’t pity them *too* much.

  2. “for just the rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground systems—will total $4.1 billion. This is, he said, “a price tag that strikes us as unsustainable.”

    …strikes us as unsustainable? This would be the understatement of the year, except ironically this boondoggle has already sustaned itself for more than a decade.

    1. Of course it’s sustainable. In fact, it’s doing an amazing job, sustaining Boeing’s space division.

  3. I still think we launch it, and few more times or keep it until we at start Mars exploration program, which should begin before 2028 AD.

    And we see how starship does. And of course it should a lot better than SLS.
    But it depends on how bad SLS in future. A SLS failure in first launch attempt or second one, doesn’t mean much, but failure to get good news about at least the prospects lowering it’s launch cost within couple years, does reflect how bad it is.
    Anyhow, I would violate the sunk cost thing, or I would count sunk costs for +2 years. And I think it does still count as competition.
    If get more competition that would be different matter.
    Or said differently, SLS should not even slightly slow down, SpaceX. Nor should it, New Glenn.
    Or might get rid of SLS if has bad effect on New Glenn- but little seems to happening with it, so far.

    1. “Both OIG and GAO have warned about schedule delays that make it doubtful that NASA can return humans to the lunar surface in 2025 on the Artemis 3 mission as currently projected by the agency.”

      The other witnesses were more pessimistic. “Based on our current work, we say no earlier than 2026,” Martin said, based on work on the spacesuits and lander. “It could be later.”

      –“Simply put: tell us how long it will take, how we will do it and how much it costs. The Artemis program must be NASA’s highest priority.”–

      If so, you would have to be idiot to continue having SLS on your critical path of the Artemis program.
      And one could add more just SpaceX Starship to this pathway
      And/or fill gap with more robotic missions to the Moon- which require neither SLS nor Starship.
      And haul in FAA, to see if they manage a reasonable explanation for delaying the Starship’s test launch.

      Having a $20 billion dollar agency which is suppose to exploring, and it’s not exploring anything important, is very expensive.
      And is making the argument that NASA is incapable of exploring Mars- as this is going to be much harder than exploring the Moon.

      Perhaps, Congress should explore “out of the boxes ways” to better explore the Moon and Mars.

  4. Martin said that the operational costs alone for a single Artemis launch—for just the rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground systems—will total $4.1 billion.

    $4.1 Billion – SO FAR

  5. This comes as a shock to them??????

    “Then, unprompted, Martin continued to criticize the programs set up by Congress to fund the rocket and spacecraft. House and Senate members told NASA to use “cost-plus” contracts, which ensure that companies involved in the development and operation of these systems receive all of their costs, plus a fee. This tends to disincentivize timely work completed within a set budget. (Remarkably, NASA was told to continue using cost-plus contracts even after the development program.)

    “We saw that the cost-plus contracts that NASA had been using to develop that combined SLS-Orion system worked to the contractors’ rather than NASA’s advantage,” Martin said.”

    This has been known for decades. I’m sure every congress person knows it too.

    It’s a gift to the contractors.

  6. Everyone knows this, everyone has always known it. You guys have been talking about it since I first came to this site, call it an even decade.
    Makes no difference. A program no one needs, with no purpose other than inertia and a desire to keep giving the money to the usual recipients.
    I wonder when they’ll stop.

  7. You guys are looking at this all wrong. It is only $4 billion a launch if you launch once a year. Just launch four times and its only $1 billion a year or eight times and its $500 million. Its practically free. /s

    1. So first we launch the SRB’s separately as a test launch. That’s two separate launches right there. Then we launch the core stage w/o SRBs w/o Orion that’s three. Then we launch the core with SRBs and a dummy Orion and 2nd Stage, that’s four. Then we fire the Orion escape system off a dummy core & 2nd stage, that’s five. Then we fire the ICPS off the dummy core with a dummy Orion that’s six. Then we fire off the whole stack with the ICPS followed by the launch of the EUS off a dummy core with dummy Orion. There! Eight launches, thus only $500M! Cheap!

      1. Thus fixing the SLS budgeting problem on a cost-per-launch basis via an aggressive test program!

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