Image: Expedition 39 Launch
Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack.com
; in re: SLS, space launch system (a NASA name), a dcendant if Ares rocket from the Bush adm. A heavy-lift rocket, reuses shuttle engines. Mandated by Congress to do it their way—a used car begun in 2012, intended to have an unmanned mission in 2018. Continuous problems and really embarrassing foul-ups, a static fire test ban needed to be rebuilt. The Senate really did this, micromanaging NASA. Congress never said what the mission was, and demanded NASA spend $3 billion a year, year after year. It'll probably add up to $31 billi0n for one manned flight.
A century from now, what will we see as the driver for the program? Not to get into space, but pork. It's an unmitigated boondoggle, a Potemkin village. Richard Shelby’s memorial, although not only he; although he’s always been in Washington agitating for funds.
Falcon Heavy: a slew of stories in the last week that Congress and White House are getting ready to say goodbye to SLS. Ergo, Falcon Heavy was awarded a contract by NASA to launch; about $1 billi0n. Has two-thirds of SLS power, so it’s good.