"My top number for Orion, SLS, and the ground systems that support it is $2 billion or less," [NASA deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development Bill] Hill told Ars. "I mean that's my real ultimate goal. We were running at about three-plus, 3.6 billion [dollars] during the latter days of space shuttle. Of course, there again, we were flying six or seven missions. I think we're actually going to have to get to less than that." Ars has learned that the agency's ultimate goal for annual production and operations costs is about $1.5 billion. ... Production and operations costs - P&O in NASA's acronym laden jargon - of $2 billion or less would leave a significant amount of money within NASA's budget for human missions to the vicinity of the Moon, to its surface, or eventually crewed missions to Mars. In fiscal year 2016, NASA received $3.7 billion for exploration systems development, essentially the SLS, Orion, and ground systems budget. The number is likely to grow to $4 billion before the decade's end. If it could eventually spend half of that on deep space habitats, landers, surface living quarters, and myriad other systems, the agency could have the beginnings of a viable program in deep space."
Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Annual Report 2015, earlier post
"In October 2015, NASA published what it called "a detailed outline" of its next steps in getting to the Red Planet. Unfortunately, the level of detail in the report, NASA's Journey to Mars: Pioneering the Next Steps in Space Exploration, does not really validate whether NASA would be capable of achieving such an ambitious objective in a reasonable time period, with realistically attainable technologies, and with budgetary requirements that are consistent with the current economic environment."
"... the SLS program has not positioned itself well to provide accurate assessments of core stage progress - including forecasting impending schedule delays, cost overruns, and anticipated costs at completion - because at the time of our review it did not anticipate having the baseline to support full reporting on the core stage contract until summer 2016 - some 4.5 years after NASA awarded the contract."
- GAO Finds NASA SLS Costs Not Credible, earlier post
- NASA Employs Faith-Based Funding Approach For SLS, earlier post
- NASA Has Three Different Launch Dates for Humans on SLS, earlier post
- Earlier SLS/Orion posts