Surprise, surprise! An independent analysis of NASA’s budget estimates to build Congress’s heavy-lift rocket, the program-formerly-called-Constellation, are untrustworthy and likely low.
“All three program estimates assume large, unsubstantiated, future cost efficiencies leading to the impression that they are optimistic,” the team said in its key findings. A risk assessment revealed the funding reserves projected for all three programs are insufficient, according to Booz Allen Hamilton. NASA has not disclosed its internal cost estimate for the Space Launch System. “Due to procurement of items still in development and large cost risks in the out years, NASA cannot have full confidence in the estimates for long-term planning,” the executive summary said.
This project is nothing more than Congressional pork. It will never get built. Sadly, it might waste a lot of money before it never gets built.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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