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NASA and Boeing today signed a $2.8 billion contract for Boeing to build the core stage of the SLS rocket
Scheduled for its initial test flight in 2017, the SLS is designed to be flexible and evolvable to meet a variety of crew and cargo mission needs. The initial flight-test configuration will provide a 77-ton capacity, and the final evolved two-stage configuration will provide a lift capability of more than 143 tons.
It would be nice for the U.S. to have this heavy-lift rocket, but I fully expect the funds to run out immediately after it makes its inaugural flight, despite the wonderful pork it provides to so many Congressional districts. It just costs too much per launch.