Would You Buy A Used Moon Rocket From NASA?

Exploration Production and Operations Long-Term Sustainability, NASA

"The primary goals enabling this vision include 1) moving ESD programmatic implementation to a construct in which industry owns vehicle production and the flight hardware, and leads the ground operations services, 2) production, operations, and maintenance costs at a substantial savings of 50% or more off of the current industry baseline per flight cost with a flight rate of one crewed flight and potential for at least one cargo flight per year (costs are inclusive of Orion/payload and system integration but exclusive of the Orion hardware, payload hardware, government personnel and government facility costs), and 3) a programmatic construct that is a launch service (across 2 contracts) available for additional customers, including other government agencies, international partners and commercial entities."

Keith's note: This RFI is hilarious. NASA wants people to submit ideas as to how to save "50% or more off of the current industry baseline per flight cost" when NASA itself has never said what a SLS flight costs. So ... how exactly does one submit a proposal to cut that unknown cost in half? And who would want to own this launch system for that matter since it was mandated by Congress - a rocket that took a decade longer and billions over budget to build? How predictable is its long term use when it took so long to build it in the first place? It has not even flown once.

And who is the customer? Oh, its NASA, of course, which has already shown its chronic willingness to spend vast amounts of money on this system - and bet their entire Artemis architecture on it. That means that any contractor knows going into this that they have NASA right where they want them. And if the contractor underbids or the rocket does not perform - and NASA is stuck without a ride - who will pick up the tab? Why NASA of course. This whole RFI is a fool's errand. I can't wait to see who responds.

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MILITARY SPACE USA
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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 27, 2021 6:24 PM.

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