Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

NASA's heavy lift rocket is running into problems

RATE THIS! +23
Posted in Science on 14th Jan, 2016 11:50 AM by AlexMuller

In 2010, President Obama scrapped the NASA program that would bring humans back to the moon and then Mars. The Constellation program, which began under the George W. Bush administration, was "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation," according to President Obama.

 

So instead of Constellation we're getting the Space Launch System (SLS), and that's not going terribly well either. According to NASAspaceflight.com, the project to build a heavy lift rocket that could carry humans and their copious luggage to Mars doesn't have a game plan, and funding issues are at least partly to blame.
 
NASA is aiming to bring astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, and SLS is supposed to be the vehicle that gets us there. NASA has been heavily promoting the idea that the SLS is the future of space travel on social media over the past several years.
 
However, NASAspaceflight.com spoke to "several" unnamed NASA employees who pointed out several problems after a recent meeting was held about the vehicle at Kennedy Space Center.
 
When adjusted for inflation, NASA's budget is at the lowest it's ever been. Although Congress recently gave NASA a raise, it's not nearly enough to cover all of NASA's projects. The agency's 2016 budget will increase to $19.3 billion, of which $2 billion will be allocated toward SLS. However, the development cost for SLS is projected to total $18 billion. The agency cites budget constraints as an obstruction to making detailed plans for the SLS.
 
The SLS's launch schedule keeps changing. The first crewed flight of the SLS was recently delayed from 2021 to 2023, and it looks like the date could be pushed back again.
 
Getting to Mars will require a lot of preliminary launches that gradually increase in complexity. NASA wants to start by launching small payloads into space, then move on to launching an unmanned Orion capsule to the moon, and then try a crewed mission to the lunar space before even thinking about going to Mars.
 
But now NASA is considering changing the design for one of the rocket's upper stages earlier than previously planned. Normally that would mean extra unmanned launches would be needed to test out the equipment before astronauts climb aboard, and that could offset the entire "Journey to Mars" by another couple of years.
 
If the SLS's launch schedule changes, it could delay a launch that would bring astronauts to rendezvous with an asteroid in lunar space until the mid-2020s. This mission is meant to be a test-run for a real Mars mission, and the delay would put it right smack in the middle of an awkward timeframe when a new president will presumably be taking office and setting new goals for NASA. Could that new president decide to scrap the asteroid rendezvous plans?
 
SpaceX envisions building its own heavy lift rocket capable of getting to Mars, but the company is not talking about how that rocket might stack up against the SLS. Perhaps that's because the designs are too vague for now, or perhaps the company doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds it, the company gets funding from NASA, and the agency is a prime customer for SpaceX launches.

Tags: spaceSpaceXMarsNASASLSrocketspace exploration

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-11-18 21:15:58
    Companies are realising that renewable energy is good for.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-18 21:07:25
    California may reach 50% renewable power goal by 2020; 10.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-17 18:02:34
    Tesla unveils a truck and a roadster..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-17 17:47:38
    SpaceX expects government support for development of BFR.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-11-17 13:59:11
    Gene therapy infused into persons blood to correct liver.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar system..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of touch..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical trial.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me