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SLS dress rehearsal countdown set for June 20th with launch delayed again

According to NASA officials, the next attempt to complete a dress rehearsal countdown for its SLS rocket will take place on June 20, 2022, with the earliest date an actual launch can occur delayed again, and now set at best for an August 23 to September 6 window.

The article also notes that during a different press conference, NASA administrator Bill Nelson hinted that “there could be slips” in the present target date of ‘2025 for landing humans on the Moon.

Ya think? I guarantee that NASA will not land humans on the Moon in ’25, at least not using SLS. Based on all the issues confronting SLS, as well as NASA’s normal way of doing things, this mission will certainly slip at least one to two more years. And I am being very very very very optimistic.

We must also note that when first proposed by Bush Jr. in 2004, he predicted a NASA manned lunar landing by 2015, which means this launch will be at least one decade behind schedule, with it more likely being later than that.

But then, I can hear our glorious president yelling at me for complaining. “C’mon man! What’s a decade or two when you’re scheduling something important?”

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

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12 comments

  • Matt in AZ

    Ironically, Trump set the 2024 date so a landing could happen before the end of his second term – he may still get that wish.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Haven’t heard anything about the likelihood of an extended waiver on the SLS solid rocket boosters. And by an extended waiver, I mean that (if I recall correctly) we are already in a waiver on the need to re-stack them. This doesn’t feel good.

  • Andi

    Minor edit in last sentence: “when you’re scheduling something important”. Although if Brandon had written it down he may have just used “your”.

    Aren’t those boosters six months past their use-by date?

  • Andi: Fixed, though I agree Biden might have made the error and not realize it was an error.

    And yes, the solid rocket boosters will have been stacked almost two years in September, about 10 months past their use-by date.

  • Col Beausabre

    “And yes, the solid rocket boosters will have been stacked almost two years in September, about 10 months past their use-by date.”

    I hope I am wrong, but I am getting a “Chellenger” type feeling about this, ignoring prudence and NASA’s own rules to try to launch.

  • Ray Van Dune

    How can NASA ignore something as historically sensitive as the SRB use-by-date? With Spaceship getting down to only a matter of weeks until flight, it is inevitable that such behavior would be seen as negligently ignoring safety for competitive reasons! Which of course is exactly what it would be.

  • Edward

    Ray Van Dune asked: “How can NASA ignore something as historically sensitive as the SRB use-by-date? With [Starship] getting down to only a matter of weeks until flight, it is inevitable that such behavior would be seen as negligently ignoring safety for competitive reasons! Which of course is exactly what it would be.

    Without humans on board, it is not necessarily a human safety issue, only a mission safety issue. Do I recall correctly that they performed an inspection of the Solid Rocket Boosters?

    During the Space Shuttle era, there were a couple of times when NASA had booster segments stored for long periods of time, yet they still stacked and operated properly. NASA’s “use-by” date has more to do with “derating” items so that they are not pushed to their limits (running the SSMEs at 105% of rated performance was poor form but still within the tested performance).

    Other solid rocket motors have been stored for many years before use. The Minuteman rocket is an example, where several have been used for commercial launches after many years of storage. The problem NASA has is that the SRBs are somewhat larger than many other solid rockets, and the SRB characteristics and performance after long-term stacking is not well understood. These particular issues will undoubtedly be better understood after this launch. However, for a variety of reasons, I doubt that this issue will come up again any time soon.

  • Ken

    I know it doesn’t matter in today’s lawless USA, but if a program goes over 30% budget it’s supposed to require a reauthorization by Congress. An IG or OMB report already found 2 years ago that NASA used funny numbers to keep the SLS project just under the 30% threshold which certainly the 2 years since has pushed it over the line no matter what accounting gimmicks are employed.

    At least legally the NASA administrator is required to notify Congress and all work on the project is supposed to stop.

  • all work on the project is supposed to stop.
    That’s certainly not going to help the schedule.

    I’m not sure the public understands that the Sunk Cost Fallacy is a fallacy. “We spent $25 billion on it, and we’re cancelling the project without anything to show for it,” doesn’t seem as if it would go down well.

  • Meade Lux Lewis

    “We spent $25 billion on it, and we’re cancelling the project without anything to show for it,” doesn’t seem as if it would go down well.

    Will it “go down well” when we’ve spent $50 billion with nothing to show for it?

  • Edward

    Meade Lux Lewis wrote: “Will it ‘go down well’ when we’ve spent $50 billion with nothing to show for it?

    That kicks the can down the road, when someone else might take the heat, and those people won’t take much more heat than cancelling it today. In addition, those future people can always blame someone else, like NASA, for failure. If they cancel it today, then today’s Congress takes all the heat.

    Welcome to politics, which does not do the intelligent thing.

  • wayne

    For comparison…..the Feds spend $5 billion a month on SNAP ->food stamps.

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