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NASA pays the price of being subjected to a massive, expensive rocket

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Winston

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NASA pays the price of being subjected to a massive, expensive rocket
The agency is now likely to be at least three years late in delivering its new booster.
5/12/2017

https://arstechnica.com/science/201...eing-subjected-to-a-massive-expensive-rocket/

Orion spacecraft

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft)

For fiscal years 2006 through 2015, the Orion program had expended funding totaling $11.1 billion in nominal dollars. This is equivalent to $12.5 billion adjusting to 2016 dollars using the NASA New Start Inflation Indices.

SpaceX Dragon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_Dragon

Musk stated in 2010 that the developmental cost of a crewed Dragon and Falcon 9 would be between $800 million and $1 billion (total).

In 2014, SpaceX released the total combined development costs for both the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and the Dragon capsule. NASA provided US$396 million (0.396 billion) while SpaceX provided over US$450 million to fund BOTH development efforts.
 

Winston

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Spot on reader comment from the Ars Technica artcicle:

Cost is an issue, but it's not the problem with SLS. [I disagree with that - it steals vast funds from other programs - W]

The problem with SLS is that it has no mission - there's no exploration program waiting to take advantage of it. It's putting the cart before the horse that hasn't even been born yet. No payloads are planned for it (except maybe the Europa mission). Cost aside, it's a rocket to nowhere.

You have to build and launch on a minimum cadence to maintain your skills and safety margins; the minimum rate for this thing is once every other year. Beyond the test flights, there may be a mission for it (Europa Clipper, maybe?), but after that? Any probe that requires this kind of lifting capability needed to be in the pipeline a decade ago, and there just aren't any.

I'm sure they can find excuses to throw manned Orions into cis-lunar space for a couple of weeks at a time, but I'm not sure what that would accomplish. Maybe better imaging of the Apollo landing sites to give the YouTubers more conspiracy fodder.

And now that SpaceX has successfully recovered and reflown a booster, SLS's expendable nature just becomes even more glaring, especially at a billion dollars a pop. We're going to splash the stockpile of working SSMEs,
[DESIGNED to be reusable MANY times- W] and then hope like hell AJR can build new ones.

NASA wanted to build a sustainable space flight architecture. Congress mandated a giant space peen.
 

Winston

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[video=youtube;wcHD9AmkxA0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcHD9AmkxA0[/video]
 
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