Bridenstine May Not Be Drinking That SLS Koolaid

How can NASA return to the Moon? By making everything reusable, chief says, Ars Technica

"However, the big rocket NASA has been developing since 2011, the Space Launch System, is entirely expendable. It will cost $1 to $2 billion per launch, in comparison to much less expensive (and moderately less capable) commercial vehicles. A senior NASA official sitting at the table, Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer, responded, "It's a good question about the rocket." What the SLS brings, he said, is an enormous Delta V capability that, combined with Orion's tug capacity, was necessary to build the Deep Space Gateway. "Energy is a key part," Geyer said. "So it's a big rocket, with a large size. To date, that's not something we've been able to reuse." Bridenstine, however, would not be deterred from his interest in the potential of commercial companies to drive down the cost of spaceflight."

Keith's note: Instead of making Bridenstine available in a forum where space media from around the country can ask Bridenstine questions about broad areas of NASA policy, NASA PAO limits his access to small groups of media. While Bridenstine is rather open and engaging in these settings, this does limit the ability of the news media around the country to ask Bridenstine questions on a regular basis. And important news tends to dribble out instead. Of course, there is a simple solution invented back in the Apollo days - but apparently NASA does not have enough speakerphones to go around right now.

As for Bridenstine's comments on SLS, it should not go unnoticed that he does not reflexively hop on the SLS propaganda bandwagon as being the answer to all things that NASA may want to be doing in space - forever. Let's see how this stance evolves as SLS delays and costs continue to mount while private sector solutions - even if they are delayed - start to eat SLS's lunch when it comes to cost per unit weight of cargo launched.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 2, 2018 6:45 PM.

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