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SLS NASA 18 Billion for first two launches

  1. Aug 26, 2013 #1
    Is 18 billion dollars for the first two launches of the SLS a good buy? It seems NASA could buy the same weight to orbit today from Space-X for about 0.6 billion dollars. Why not just use the existing provider?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    First, do you have a source for your claims?

    Second, you are aware that this is a project still in development, right? It isn't going to be just two launches at $9 billion apiece. It is projected at $500 million per launch, long term.

    Third, even if your math is right Space-X (nor any other system) can't take cargo as large as SLS. That's the point of developing it.
  4. Aug 26, 2013 #3
    I agree on the third point. But I am sure NASA is clever and can screw together two sub structures on orbit.
  5. Aug 26, 2013 #4
    On the cost see the NASA report http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/510449main_SLS_MPCV_90-day_Report.pdf
    from page 7 "The FY 2011 Senate Appropriations Report would fund the SLS at $1.9B in FY 2011, and with a
    proposed cost cap of $11.5B through FY 2017. Within 60 days of enactment of the appropriations bill,
    NASA is directed to submit a report that includes, among other things, an evaluation of this proposed cost cap."
  6. Aug 26, 2013 #5
    More budget analysis from http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1979/1 by John K. Strickland, Jr. retired from his job as a senior analyst for the Texas Department of Transportation in Austin, Texas "Based on current development cost estimates for the SLS (including Orion) of $29–38 billion, even the (expendable) Falcon Heavy could launch between 300 and 400 payloads of 53 tons each for the same amount of money, starting in about two years."
  7. Aug 26, 2013 #6
    Is NASA Building A Rocket They Can't Afford to Fly?
    By Keith Cowing on May 24, 2013 12:47 PM
    "The first SLS launch is expected in 2017, the second in 2021, and then once every two years thereafter."
  8. Aug 26, 2013 #7

    D H

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    FYI, SLS means Senate Launch System. It is yet another pork project foisted on NASA by Congress.
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