Your Web News in One Place
November 8, 2019 07:00 am

The Cost For Each SLS Launch Is Over $2 Billion

Acting director of the White House budget office Russell Vought said in a letter that the cost estimate to build and fly a single NASA large Space Launch System rocket in a given year is "more than $2 billion." "The article then notes how this cost is affecting the Europa Clipper mission, which has three launch options, with SLS mandated by Congress," writes Slashdot reader schwit1. From the report: The powerful SLS booster offers the quickest ride for the six-ton spacecraft to Jupiter, less than three years. But for mission planners, there are multiple concerns about this rocket beyond just its extraordinary cost. There is the looming threat that the program may eventually be canceled (due to its cost and the emergence of significantly lower cost, privately built rockets). NASA's human exploration program also has priority on using the SLS rocket, so if there are manufacturing issues, a science mission might be pushed aside. Finally, there is the possibility of further developmental delays -- significant ground testing of SLS has yet to begin.Another option is United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket, which has an excellent safety record and has launched several high-profile missions for NASA. However, this rocket requires multiple gravity assists to push the Clipper into a Jupiter orbit, including a Venus flyby. This heating would add additional thermal constraints to the mission, and scientists would prefer to avoid this if at all possible. A final possibility is SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, with a kick stage. This booster would take a little more than twice as long as the SLS rocket to get the Clipper payload to Jupiter, but it does not require a Venus flyby and therefore avoids those thermal issues. With a track record of three successful flights, the Falcon Heavy also avoids some of the development and manufacturing concerns raised by SLS vehicle. Finally, it offers the lowest cost of the three options.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Original Link: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/8zV8S7wgL6g/the-cost-for-each-sls-launch-is-over-2-billion

Share this article:    Share on Facebook
View Full Article

Slashdot

Slashdot was originally created in September of 1997 by Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda. Today it is owned by Geeknet, Inc..

More About this Source Visit Slashdot