13 thoughts on “SLS Boondoggle Update”

  1. I’ve long advocated that the VAB, transporter, mobile launch platform and even the SLS itself be transformed into a Disney Exhibit. The could even call it: “Return to the Moon, the NASA Experience”. Whereby one could spend a week strapped into the Orion capsule for a ride to the launch pad and then back to the VAB for repairs.

    1. … And I would make the ride mandatory for certain current and former members of the US Senate.

      1. I think that is a superb idea!

        It’s also about the only viable mission that I can think of for SLS.

    2. Nah, I think the VAB should be transformed into a disco. Extending the levels out into each high bay just a little bit, the place could be made to hold 100,000 at a time without any crowding. With peak crowd from 6 pm to 2 am, and each person spending an average of 2.5 hours there, that’s a throughput of 320,000 people a night. Each one averages 3 drinks at $10 a pop, and you bring in $9.6 million a night.

      That’s just the base. With a Steve Rubell-like visionary at the helm, it could be like Studio 54 on steroids, with said steroids themselves being on methamphetamine. George Soros could install a DA on Merritt Island to make sure no criminal prosecutions would ever take place, so the trafficking revenue could be an order of magnitude bigger than the customer base. (I’m thinking Hunter Biden as the modern day Rubell, so no federal charges could ever be brought.)

      The main reason I prefer this route to the Disney one is so that I could put in place my vision of what NASA’s idea of disco design would likely be, namely: each of the four high bay floors would be the disco floors, and each would have a disco ball suspended above it on a 500 foot long rod from the high bay ceiling. For some reason, that picture epitomizes NASA to me…

  2. At this rate, when will the price of diesel cause the cost of fueling the transporter to exceed the cost of fueling the SLS itself? Can they get an EPA waiver to burn fuel oil in the transporter instead?

    1. I recall seeing ballpark estimates (which might be unfounded) that SpaceX has spent around 2 billion to date on the entire Starship program, Raptor engine development and Boca Chica Starbase included. I also recall Elon Musk saying that he expects the total Starship program development cost (Which I think includes all construction and launch facilities) to be around 5 billion.

      My wild guess is that the Starship launch facilities in Boca Chica AND at the Cape will cost the same or a bit less than this one crawler transporter, even if we accept the 1.5 billion pricetag for the crawler as fact (which I do not believe for a second; it’s years from completion).

      Also, though, lets not forget capabilities here. The SLS launch facilities include a launch tower, the price of which is not included with the crawler. The SLS launch tower cost 1 billion, but it can do something that SpaceX’s launch/landing tower probably can’t; it leans.

  3. NASA pioneers another first. With ML1 becoming the world’s first expendable Stage 0.

  4. For those of you citing the “Cost Plus” contract as the boogieman and just going to fixed price will get things under control, I submit that NASA is incapable of putting together a fixed price contract for any of these abominations. NASA’s entire culture is built around having other folks do all the heavy lifting based on general nebulous and changeable requirements and no one will cater to NASA’s whims that wants to stay in business. You would have to change the entire culture at NASA for this to become a successful method of getting things done.

    The truth of the matter is that NASA is now obsolete as far as developing launch vehicles. The prudent thing to do is cut them off and leave them to do research and payload development.

    The only good thing about SLS is that it is making that argument very visible to the public at large. Whether this can change a massive bureaucracy sucking heavily at the public till enabled by Congress, I’m not very confident.

    If you want to see what the corrupted marriage of politics and technology will sire, SLS is a very good example.

  5. NASA either cannot understand that the old ways of unlimited budgets is dead, or cannot operate in those conditions.

    Fortunately, the US has options now. Give the Cape back to the Air Force to manage, or create a public corporation to manage it, and hire launches from the private industry (which right now, means Space-X for anything of size).

    The SLS is a very expensive joke. Time to pull the plug on it.

  6. This isn’t surprising or unexpected. How can anyone even muster outrage after all this time?

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