Note: It rhymes with "throwing" when lawmakers hurl an unknown amount of money into the 2024 moonfire.
SLS Core Stage Pathfinder lifted in VAB (Image: NASA / Ben Smegelsky)
NASA brought a smile to the faces of Boeing shareholders this week with the announcement that they order the US aviation giant for Artemis rocket launches on the Moon 10 core stages of the Space Launch System (SLS). Although paying for things could be difficult.
The news came when NASA trumpeted the arrival of the first version of the monster nuclear rocket in its Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). What has undoubtedly reminded many of them was that the 21
Instead, engineers use the test article to practice unloading, moving, and stacking maneuvers before reality becomes reality next year. Maybe.
Boeing is under contract to build the SLS core stages for the first two Artemis missions and the Pathfinder currently floating around the VAB. With the rocket purchase approval, Boeing will be able to crack the third core level used for the Artemis III mission and all key landings with 2024 men on the moon.
It is expected that the next batch of missile core stages will not suffer the same horrendous cost overruns and horrific birth process of the first build, which could finally depart after years of delay in 2021.
Later, more Ex-Shuttle RS-25 engines will be needed to unload into the ocean NASA wants Boeing to finally build the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) to be used by Artemis IV. The EUS is indispensable for transporting heavier payloads of the order of 45 tonnes into lunar orbit.
The first three rushing Artemis missions by NASA use the relatively weedy phase of the temporary low-temperature propulsion to bring these boots to the surface. The 2024 deadline for US President Donald Trump.
And this arbitrary date for 2024 leads to some wrinkled eyebrows. At a hearing by the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science on NASA's proposal to favor the moon landing from 2028 on, the US legislators pulled the agency over the coals as the price of all moon jellyfish remained unclear.
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Committee Chairman, José Serrano, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine had uneasily made when he again asked for an estimate of how much the US taxpayer would have to cough up to accelerate the program.
As in previous hearings, Bridenstine could not answer despite the legislature. Press the administrator for numbers and drop him examples of past costs and missed deadlines. Serrano summed things up (1:16) by reminding NASA that "it would be irresponsible for us to take the first step if we do not know what this will cost in the end."
Ouch.  Serrano finally denied that he had actually put a knife into the Artemis program with his questions and said, "I have no such power."
But NASA will bring out some numbers that it can stick to accelerated moon dreams and sharp, these questions will not disappear. ®
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