NASA’s horrible management of SLS

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In this article from describing a recent status update from NASA of its SLS/Orion program (which remains years behind schedule and might see further delays) was the following quote, revealing much about NASA’s incompetence and corruption in building this boondoggle:

In contrast to the more centralized organization structure for the cancelled Constellation program, [SLS’s] three major programs [ground systems, Orion, and SLS] are managed independently: Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) based at KSC, Orion based at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, and SLS based at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama.

Each of the programs has resources to integrate with its other two partners, but ESD [Exploration Systems Development at NASA headquarters in DC] provides the overall coordination between all three. During Constellation, the equivalent organizations were projects directly managed by that now-cancelled program. [emphasis mine]

In other words, when Obama unilaterally cancelled Constellation (something he really didn’t have the power to do) and Congress micromanaged its reinstatement (creating SLS/Orion), the Obama administration and NASA abandoned a sensible management structure and allowed SLS/Orion to be a three-headed monster, difficult to coordinate and certain to go over-budget and fall behind schedule.

With this operational structure, even if SLS eventually flies successfully, it will be impossible for it to operate efficiently. Expect every one of its future efforts to always go over budget and to fall behind schedule.



  • ken anthony

    I’m so sick of hearing about SLS. It should die today. Not spending one more penny on it.

  • Localfluff

    Moondoggle is a great word for SLS, Orion, LOP-G. LOP-G is such an ugly name that it suites the moondoggle well. It sounds like a broken word. Is it pronounced loop-ghu or lop-geezuschrist?

  • Tom Billings

    Remember that, even with a “sensible” management structure, Constellation, at the time of cancellation, was moving its flight dates to the right on timelines about 15 months, for every 12 months that passed. Indeed, their management structure was what allowed that to be exposed in late 2009-early 2010. Since Congress wanted none of that, it was quite logical to move to what they have now, …an untraceable mess.

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