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A report by NASA’s inspector general finds that the planned first launch of the SLS rocket in November 2018 is threatened with delay because the ground facilities at Kennedy might not be ready.
In a report released Wednesday, NASA’s Office of Inspector General warned that Ground Systems Development and Operations, or GSDO, may be hard-pressed to have Kennedy Space Center’s launch facilities ready on time. Ground systems are a critical piece of the SLS-Orion infrastructure. All three elements are tightly integrated, with ground systems requiring significant input from the rocket and capsule designs. “GSDO cannot finalize and complete its requirements without substantial input for the other two programs,” said Jim Morrison, the assistant inspector general for audits. “And NASA is still finalizing the requirements for those programs.”
Gee, I guess SLS isn’t getting enough money, as its budget is only about $3 billion per year (about six times what the commercial space program gets per year, a program that has already created two freighter systems for ISS and is now creating two manned ferry systems for ISS). Why don’t we give them more, so that even more won’t be done with the money we spend?