Skip to comments.NASA says it's committed to Boeing-built rocket after considering alternatives
Posted on 03/26/2019 9:14:30 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Now, government officials are dialing up the pressure on Boeing to speed up development of the long-overdue rocket, called Space Launch System or SLS. The space agency contracted Boeing in 2012 to build SLS's core components.
Bridenstine's remarks came after US Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday at a National Space Council meeting in Alabama that news of more hangups with the SLS program were a "great disappointment," and the current timeline is "just not good enough."
Boeing began building SLS's core stage, the backbone of the rocket, about seven years ago. Officials said at the time that SLS would be ready to fly in December 2017. But that target was eventually pushed back to at least mid-2020.
An oversight report published five months ago blasted "Boeing's poor performance" and said cost overruns are expected to double the company's expenses, to at least $8.9 billion, by 2022. NASA had already spent at least $11.9 billion on SLS.
Bridenstine said after studying the issue for two weeks, NASA found none of the alternatives offered a way to keep the Orion launch on time and on budget. But he said commercial rockets could be used as an alternative to SLS at some point in the future.
Threatening to abandon SLS in favor of alternatives is a new course of action for government officials. Laura Forczyk, a consultant and founder of research firm Astralytical, said there is little appetite among politicians to follow through on the threats, but they may give Boeing a necessary kick in the pants.
"Boeing has had no motivation to get things done," Forczyk told CNN Business. "This gives them an incentive to speed up their timeline."
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Is Boeing doing the software to?
Before “diversity,” America put a man on the Moon. Since “diversity,” can’t even build a rocket.
737 max attitude control? ;-)
“Bridenstine’s remarks came after US Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday at a National Space Council meeting in Alabama...”
Weird coincidence that former D/current R Senator Richard Shelby is from Alabama, and is the one who kept putting up politically (and otherwise un-)motivated roadblocks to SpaceX.
Diversity has nothing to do with it. NASA is the one technical institute insusceptible to learning. MSFC is doing on SLS exactly what JSC did on ISS. Unfortunately, it is more profitable for Boeing to let the customer have whatever they ask for, when it’s a cost plus program.
If they do, it will be a rocket powered boring machine.
The SLS is essentially made out of Space Shuttle parts. It would take them 50 years if they had to do it by scratch.
China has overtaken the U.S. in technology, especially military technology.
Does anyone see a problem with the fact that China now is even building our missiles?
Microsoft and Adobe teamed up for that part.
And SpaceX is going to send humans to space.
Is telling Boeing to “rush” really a good idea?
Isn’t that how they got into trouble in the first place?
My wife explains it best: “Dinner will be ready when its ready”. ;-)
Bears repeating, i suspect despite his nuttiness Elon Musk will be remembered as one of the fathers of real space travel
A lot like the Congressional committee that tried to design a horse and came up with a camel.
Precisely! As Patton once said, Dont tell your men how to do it, tell them what to do and they will amaze you with their ingeuity!
NASA is a creature of the overall bureaucracy, and as such, is no longer a can-do engineering activity. The rocket scientists who founded NASA are all gone and mostly buried, and their bureaucratic go-fers are in charge, and doing the politicians wishes.
I predict that the SLS will probably never get past preliminary flights. If it flies at all, it will be generations behind SpaceX.
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