$18 billion for one test launch


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NASA thinks it will cost $18 billion to complete and launch in 2017 one test flight of the Congressionally-designed Space Launch System, the program-formerly-called-Constellation.

This is madness. One flight, unmanned, in seven years? No sane customer would ever buy such a product, especially when there are now a number of cheaper competitors who will likely be flying manned in less time.

Note also that even if NASA’s figures are exaggerated, which I am sure some Senators and Congressmen will claim, I would bet that they are not that far off, based on the space agency’s fixed labor costs and past history.

One comment

  • Joe2

    From the aritcle:
    “That previously undisclosed figure, which the agency gave to Booz Allen Hamilton for an independent analysis of the big rocket’s cost, includes the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) based on the Orion capsule Lockheed Martin started under the Constellation program, and $2 billion in modifications to ground launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The amount, which NASA believes it could provide under its fiscal 2012 budget request for human space exploration, would deliver a basic SLS able to lift 70 metric tons to low Earth orbit.”

    You continue to leave out everything included in the total figure. as in “includes the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) based on the Orion capsule Lockheed Martin started under the Constellation program, and $2 billion in modifications to ground launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center” and “NASA believes it could provide under its fiscal 2012 budget request for human space exploration” (that is the Administrations lower funding levels, not the higher levels in the Authorization Law – which is supported by the 2011 Appropriations Law).

    Question: Why is that?

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