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posted by Fnord666 on Monday October 15 2018, @11:18PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ouch! dept.

Elon Musk pegs SpaceX BFR program at $5B as NASA's rocket booster nears $5B in cost overruns

[Compared] to Boeing's first serious 2014 contract for the SLS Core Stages – $4.2B to complete Core Stages 1 and 2 and launch EM-1 in Nov. 2017 – the company will ultimately end up 215% over-budget ($4.2B to $8.9B) and ~40 months behind schedule (42 months to 80+ months from contract award to completion). Meanwhile, as OIG notes, NASA has continued to give Boeing impossibly effusive and glowing performance reviews to the tune of $323 million in "award fees", with grades that would – under the contracting book NASA itself wrote – imply that Boeing SLS Core Stage work has been reliably under budget and ahead of schedule (it's not).

[...] Boeing – recently brought to light as the likely source of a spate of egregiously counterfactual op-eds published with the intention of dirtying SpaceX's image – also took it upon itself to sponsor what could be described as responses to NASA OIG's scathing October 10th SLS audit. Hilariously, a Politico newsletter sponsored by Boeing managed to explicitly demean and belittle the Apollo-era Saturn V rocket as a "rickety metal bucket built with 1960s technology", of which Boeing was very tenuously involved thanks to its eventual acquisition of companies that actually built Saturn and sent humans to the Moon.

At the same time, that newsletter described SLS as a rocket that will be "light years ahead of thespacecraft [sic] that NASA astronauts used to get to the moon 50 years ago." At present, the only clear way SLS is or will be "light years" ahead – as much a measure of time as it is of distance – of Saturn V is by continuing the rocket's trend of endless delays. Perhaps NASA astronomers will soon be able to judge exactly how many "light years ahead" SLS is by measuring the program's redshift or blueshift with one of several ground- and space-based telescopes.

Here's a typical Boeing shill response (archive) to the NASA Inspector General report.

See also: Will the US waste $100+ billion on SLS, Orion and LOP-G by 2030?

Previously: Maiden Flight of the Space Launch System Delayed to 2019 (now delayed to June 2020, likely 2021)
First SLS Mission Will be Unmanned
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
NASA's Chief of Human Spaceflight Rules Out Use of Falcon Heavy for Lunar Station
House Spending Bill Offers NASA More Money Than the Agency or Administration Wanted
NASA Administrator Ponders the Fate of SLS in Interview
There's a New Report on SLS Rocket Management, and It's Pretty Brutal


Original Submission

Related Stories

Maiden Flight of the Space Launch System Delayed to 2019 5 comments

The first launch of the SLS has slipped again:

NASA has decided it must delay the maiden flight of its Space Launch System rocket, presently scheduled for November 2018, until at least early 2019. This decision was widely expected due to several problems with the rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground launch systems. The delay was confirmed in a letter from a NASA official released Thursday by the US Government Accountability Office.

The Falcon Heavy will be able to deliver payloads that are similar to what SLS Block 1 can carry:

In its maiden flight configuration, named Block 1, the heavy-lifter will be able to haul up to 77 tons (70 metric tons) of cargo to low Earth orbit, more than double the capacity of the most powerful launcher flying today — United Launch Alliance's Delta 4-Heavy. The Block 1 version of SLS will fly with an upper stage propelled by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engine, based on the Delta 4's second stage.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, scheduled to make its first flight later this year, will come in just shy of the SLS Block 1's capacity if the commercial space company gave up recovering its booster stages.

NASA plans to introduce a bigger four-engine second stage on the EM-2 launch, a configuration of the SLS named Block 1B.

GAO report.


Original Submission

First SLS Mission Will be Unmanned 9 comments

The first SLS flight, around the moon, will not include a crew.

The first flight of NASA's next-generation heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), is now scheduled for 2019 and will not include a human crew, agency officials said today (May 12).

As of 2016, NASA had planned for the SLS' first flight to take place in 2018, without a crew on board. But the transition team that the Trump administration sent to the agency earlier this year asked for an internal evaluation of the possibility of launching a crew atop the SLS inside the agency's Orion space capsule.

Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator, said during a news conference today that, based on the results of this internal evaluation, a crewed flight would be "technically feasible," but the agency will proceed with its initial plan to make the rocket's first flight uncrewed.

[...] SLS' first flight will be called Exploration Mission 1, or EM-1, and will send an uncrewed Orion capsule (which has already made one uncrewed test flight, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket) on a roughly three-week trip around the moon. The first crewed flight, EM-2, was originally scheduled to follow in 2021.

Source:NASA Won't Fly Astronauts On 1st Orion-SLS Test Flight Around the Moon
Also at:
NASA Study Warns Against Putting Crew On Huge Rocket's First Flight
NASA Denies Trump's Request to Send Astronauts Past the Moon on New Rocket

Previously: SpaceX to Fly Two Tourists Around the Moon in 2018
Maiden Flight of the Space Launch System Delayed to 2019

SpaceX might beat SLS to the moon with humans.


Original Submission

After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System? 57 comments

An op-ed written by Lori Garver, a former deputy administrator of NASA, suggests cancelling the Space Launch System in favor of Falcon Heavy and BFR:

SpaceX could save NASA and the future of space exploration

The successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is a game-changer that could actually save NASA and the future of space exploration. [...] Unfortunately, the traditionalists at NASA — and their beltway bandit allies — don't share this view and have feared this moment since the day the Falcon Heavy program was announced seven years ago.

The question to be answered in Washington now is why would Congress continue to spend billions of taxpayer dollars a year on a government-made rocket that is unnecessary and obsolete now that the private sector has shown they can do it for a fraction of the cost? [...] Once operational, SLS will cost NASA over $1 billion per launch. The Falcon Heavy, developed at zero cost to the taxpayer, would charge NASA approximately $100M per launch. In other words, NASA could buy 10 Falcon Heavy launches for the coat of one SLS launch — and invest the remainder in truly revolutionary and meaningful missions that advance science and exploration.

While SLS may be a "government-made rocket", the "beltway bandits", also known as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, and Aerojet Rocketdyne, are heavily involved in its development. The United Launch Alliance (Boeing + Lockheed Martin) have also shown that they can build their own expensive rocket: the Delta IV Heavy, which can carry less than half the payload to LEO of Falcon Heavy while costing over four times as much per launch.

NASA's marketing of how many elephants, locomotives and airplanes could be launched by various versions of SLS is a perfect example of the frivolity of developing, building and operating their own rocket. NASA advertises that it will be able to launch 12.5 elephants to LEO on Block I SLS, or 2.8 more elephants than the Falcon Heavy could launch. But if we are counting elephants — the planned Block II version of SLS could launch 30 elephants, while SpaceX's BFR could launch 34. Talk about significant.

Wait, what? 70 metric tons (SLS Block 1) / 63.8 metric tons (Falcon Heavy) = ~1.09717868339. 1.097 * (12.5 - 2.8) = ~10.6 elephants lifted by SLS Block 1 versus 9.7 for Falcon Heavy.

NASA documents list 12 elephants for SLS Block 1 (70 metric tons), and 22 for SLS Block 2 (130 metric tons). The author might have lifted some numbers from a Business Insider article that (incorrectly) estimates that 12.5 elephants can be lifted by Falcon Heavy, while SLS Block 2 can lift 30 elephants, and 34 for BFR. Perhaps we are dealing with a mix of adult and juvenile elephants?

NASA's Chief of Human Spaceflight Rules Out Use of Falcon Heavy for Lunar Station 43 comments

NASA chief explains why agency won't buy a bunch of Falcon Heavy rockets

Since the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket in February, NASA has faced some uncomfortable questions about the affordability of its own Space Launch System rocket. By some estimates, NASA could afford 17 to 27 Falcon Heavy launches a year for what it is paying annually to develop the SLS rocket, which won't fly before 2020. Even President Trump has mused about the high costs of NASA's rocket. On Monday, during a committee meeting of NASA's Advisory Council, former Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale raised this issue. Following a presentation by Bill Gerstenmaier, chief of human spaceflight for NASA, Hale asked whether the space agency wouldn't be better off going with the cheaper commercial rocket.

[...] In response, Gerstenmaier pointed Hale and other members of the advisory committee—composed of external aerospace experts who provide non-binding advice to the space agency—to a chart he had shown earlier in the presentation. This chart showed the payload capacity of the Space Launch System in various configurations in terms of mass sent to the Moon. "It's a lot smaller than any of those," Gerstenmaier said, referring to the Falcon Heavy's payload capacity to TLI, or "trans-lunar injection," which effectively means the amount of mass that can be broken out of low-Earth orbit and sent into a lunar trajectory. In the chart, the SLS Block 1 rocket has a TLI capacity of 26 metric tons. (The chart also contains the more advanced Block 2 version of the SLS, with a capacity of 45 tons. However, this rocket is at least a decade away, and it will require billions of dollars more to design and develop.)

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy TLI capacity is unknown, but estimated to be somewhere between 18 and 22 tons (between the known payloads of 16.8 tons to Mars and 26.7 tons to geostationary orbit).

Does the SLS need to launch more than 18 tons to TLI? No. All of the currently planned components of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (formerly the Deep Space Gateway) have a mass of 10 tons or less due to flying alongside a crewed Orion capsule rather than by themselves. Only by 2027's Exploration Mission 6 would NASA launch more massive payloads, by which time SpaceX's BFR could take 150 tons to TLI or even Mars when using in-orbit refueling.

Related: NASA Eyeing Mini Space Station in Lunar Orbit as Stepping Stone to Mars
NASA and Roscosmos Sign Joint Statement on the Development of a Lunar Space Station
President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1
Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
President Trump Praises Falcon Heavy, Diminishes NASA's SLS Effort


Original Submission

House Spending Bill Offers NASA More Money Than the Agency or Administration Wanted 15 comments

House spending bill offers $21.5 billion for NASA in 2019

A House appropriations bill released May 8 offers more than $21.5 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2019, a significant increase over both what the agency received in 2018 and what the White House proposed for 2019.

While there is no mention of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) or the possibility of raising the James Webb Space Telescope's $8 billion spending cap, there is plenty of money for a Europa mission (a favorite of Rep. John Culberson) and continued development of the Space Launch System (SLS):

The bill, though, does specify funding for some programs. It calls for spending $545 million on the Europa Clipper mission and $195 million for a follow-on lander. NASA requested only $264.7 million for Europa Clipper and nothing for the lander. NASA said in the budget proposal it was seeking to launch Europa Clipper in 2025 on a commercial vehicle, while the bill calls for the use of the Space Launch System and a launch by 2022. In its budget proposal, NASA estimated needing $565 million in 2019 to keep Europa Clipper on track for a 2022 launch but warned of "potential impacts to the rest of the Science portfolio" if funded at that level.

The bill includes $1.35 billion for Orion and $2.15 billion for SLS, the same funding those exploration programs received in 2018. NASA requested slightly less for each: $1.164 billion for Orion and $2.078 billion for SLS. The bill fully funds the administration's request for the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, at $504 million in 2019.

WFIRST was given $150 million in a 2018 omnibus spending bill, staving off its possible cancellation, but its future may still be in peril due to JWST delays:

Congress, in the 2018 omnibus spending bill, provided $150 million for WFIRST, which many interpreted as a rebuke to the administration's proposal even though Congress had yet to take up the 2019 budget. However, Congress passed the 2018 omnibus spending bill just days before NASA revealed another delay, and potential cost overrun, for JWST, complicating the future of WFIRST.

As with PACE, work on WFIRST is continuing for 2018 as the appropriations process for 2019 plays out in Congress. The mission's next major review, for Key Decision Point B, is scheduled for May 22, which will allow it go into Phase B of its development.

"We were funded fully through FY '18," said Jeff Kruk, WFIRST project scientist, at the Space Studies Board meeting May 3. "We have to be ready to proceed should Congress decide to continue funding the mission. The only way we will meet the cost cap is if we stay on schedule."


Original Submission

NASA Administrator Ponders the Fate of SLS in Interview 4 comments

Rocket Report: Japanese rocket blows up, NASA chief ponders purpose of SLS (and other news)

NASA Administrator ponders what to do with the SLS rocket. During a Q&A with Politico, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was asked about how the space agency views commercial launch vehicles. His response: "As we move forward, we're going to have to maybe rethink... at what point do we start taking advantage of those commercial capabilities to the extent that they drive down cost, give us more capability, and what do we do with SLS?... We're not there yet, but certainly there's a horizon here. Is it 10 years? I don't know what the answer is, but what we can't do in my view is give up our government capability, our national capability, when we don't have an alternative."

Speaking of timelines ... NASA doesn't exactly have the "national capability" of the SLS rocket yet in the heavy-lift class, either. We've heard rumors of a slip to 2021 for the first launch date, in which case Blue Origin's New Glenn has a fighting chance to fly first, as SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket has already done.

Blue Origin targets Moon landing by 2023. Blue Origin's business development director, A.C. Charania, said at a conference that the company's Blue Moon program is "our first step to developing a lunar landing capability for the country, for other customers internationally, to be able to land multi metric tons on the lunar surface." The company has not said what role its large orbital rocket under development, New Glenn, would play in a mission to the Moon.

BFR is a privately funded next-generation reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft system developed by SpaceX. It was announced by Elon Musk in September 2017.[8][9] The overall space vehicle architecture includes both launch vehicles and spacecraft that are intended to completely replace all of SpaceX's existing space hardware by the early 2020s as well as ground infrastructure for rapid launch and relaunch, and zero-gravity propellant transfer technology to be deployed in low Earth orbit (LEO). The large payload to Earth orbit of up to 150,000 kg (330,000 lb) makes BFR a super heavy-lift launch vehicle. Manufacture of the first upper stage/spacecraft prototype began by March 2018, and the ship is projected to begin testing in early 2019.[5]

Related: First SLS Mission Will be Unmanned
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
President Trump Praises Falcon Heavy, Diminishes NASA's SLS Effort
SpaceX BFR vs. ULA Vulcan Showdown in the 2020s
NASA's Chief of Human Spaceflight Rules Out Use of Falcon Heavy for Lunar Station
NASA Could Scale Down First Manned Flight of the SLS
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Serious About Returning to the Moon
Jeff Bezos Details Moon Settlement Ambitions in Interview
This Week in Space Pessimism: SLS, Mars, and Lunar Gateway


Original Submission

There's a New Report on SLS Rocket Management, and It's Pretty Brutal 66 comments

There's a New Report on Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket Management, and It's Pretty Brutal:

Boeing has been building the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System rocket for the better part of this decade, and the process has not always gone smoothly, with significant overruns and multiyear delays. A new report from NASA's inspector general makes clear just how badly the development process has gone, laying the blame mostly at the feet of Boeing.

"We found Boeing's poor performance is the main reason for the significant cost increases and schedule delays to developing the SLS core stage," the report, signed by NASA Inspector General Paul Martin, states. "Specifically, the project's cost and schedule issues stem primarily from management, technical, and infrastructure issues directly related to Boeing's performance."

As of August 2018, the report says, NASA has spent a total of $11.9 billion on the SLS. Even so, the rocket's critical core stage will be delivered more than three years later than initially planned—at double the anticipated cost. Overall, there are a number of top-line findings in this report, which cast a mostly if not completely negative light on Boeing and, to a lesser extent, NASA and its most expensive spaceflight project.

Schedule slips

The report found that NASA will need to spend an additional $1.2 billion, on top of its existing $6.2 billion contract for the core stages of the first two SLS rockets, to reach a maiden launch date of June 2020. NASA originally planned to launch the SLS rocket on its maiden flight in November 2017.

However, given all of the development problems that the SLS rocket has seen, the report does not believe a mid-2020 date is likely either. "In light of the project's development delays, we have concluded NASA will be unable to meet its EM-1 launch window currently scheduled between December 2019 and June 2020," the report states.

Northrop Grumman Exec Warns of Coming "Affordability" in the Space Launch System's Future 8 comments

SLS contractor gets real, says program needs to focus on "affordability"

For the most part, the presentations [at the American Astronautical Society's Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium] went as usual for these kinds of events—corporate vice presidents talking about the progress they were making on this or that component of the rocket and spacecraft. Although the Space Launch System rocket is going to launch three years later than originally planned, and its program is over budget and was recently admitted by NASA's own inspector to be poorly managed, you would not have known it from these presentations.

However, one panelist did offer a warning of sorts to his colleagues. Former astronaut and Vice President and General Manager of Propulsion for Northrop Grumman Charlie Precourt spoke about his company's contributions to the rocket (Northrop Grumman recently acquired Orbital ATK). They are building the large, solid rocket boosters that will provide a kick off the launch pad. Yet Precourt prefaced his update with a message about affordability—as the exploration program moves from development into operations with the first flight of SLS and Orion in 2020 or so, costs must come down, he said.

[...] "We have to execute, but we also have to be planning for the future in terms of survivability, sustainability, and affordability," Precourt said. "I used all three of those words intentionally about this program. We've got to make sure we've got our mindset on affordability, and I don't think it's too early for all of us on this panel, as well as our counterparts at NASA, to start thinking about that."

[...] Precourt said contractors should consider a future in which NASA's present multibillion expenditures on rocket development costs need to be cut in half in order for the SLS vehicle to have a robust future. "All of us need to be thinking about [how] our annual budget for this will not be what it is in development," he said. "That's a very serious problem that we have to look forward to, and to try to rectify, so that we are sustainable."

If the other speakers had thoughts about Precourt's comments, they did not share them during the ensuing discussion.

Related: NASA Opens Door to Possibly Lowering SLS Cost Using Blue Origin's Engines
NASA Administrator Ponders the Fate of SLS in Interview
There's a New Report on SLS Rocket Management, and It's Pretty Brutal
Damage Control: Boeing-Sponsored Newsletter Praises Space Launch System (SLS), Trashes Saturn V


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by slap on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:26AM (3 children)

    by slap (5764) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:26AM (#749316)

    John F. Kennedy said September 12, 1962 :

    "We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things,..... "

    On July 20, 1969 we made it.

    Saturn V - On time.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by bob_super on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:52AM (2 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:52AM (#749322)

      "Why be on time if you're paid more when you're late?" - Anonymous Government Contractor Inc

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:07AM (#749328)

        "No." It's a simple - yet powerful - word. Yet, despite this, the latest generations did not grasp this word's meaning, having never been told, "No." This has resulted in an entire generation of people who are whiny, entitled, and do not understand boundaries.

        This is all too simple to see, but what is less simple is envisioning a real solution to the problem. If the newer generations' parents aren't going to teach them boundaries, then who will? Schools? The government? No. Since neither schools nor the government could accomplish it, the difficult task of guiding the new generations down the right path was left to men like Warrenson.

        Warrenson. He was a man who was profoundly concerned about the future. In fact, no one spent more time thinking about the future and worrying about future generations than Warrenson. That was ultimately the reason why he was currently standing before that little girl: To teach her the meaning of discipline.

        Discipline. It was something that this bratty little girl clearly did not comprehend. Her former actions proved this, which was why Warrenson had no choice but to instill a sense of boundaries and discipline within her. And he was an iron-willed man who would follow through on his word.

        "Take this! And this!" Warrenson bellowed, as he slammed his genitals deep inside her. She screamed and cried for him to stop, but that was merely a sign that his lesson was working. "How dare you! How dare you!" the man screeched. Indeed, her actions had been extremely offensive; it was to the point where most people would have vomited on sight. So, what heinous deeds did the little girl perpetrate that caused Warrenson to experience such wrath? She had stuck her tongue out at him.

        "How dare you rebel against men," Warrenson spat out, as he slammed her in the back with his mallet. "And how dare you mother raise you this way," the man continued. Yes, her mother was indeed a bad parent, which was why Warrenson had snuck up behind her and bashed her brains out with his trusty mallet. Now that she was out of the picture, he could focus on guiding the little girl down the proper path. Or, that had been the plan, anyway. The sound of something slumping down onto the concrete was heard.

        Broken. The little girl had simply broke. First, she had the audacity to oppose men, and then she dared to turn into a lifeless puppet during Warrenson's valuable lesson, effectively spitting in the face of his kindness! Unbelievable. Though Warrenson was furious, this was such a common occurrence with the new generations that he could not feel too angry. Instead, he simply tossed the girl and her mother into a nearby dumpster and went on his way.

        That's right; he had no time to dwell on those wretched pieces of trash. There were plenty more children who were in need of Warrenson's guidance, after all...

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:29PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:29PM (#749539) Journal

        There is no Sad But True mod.

        --
        A parade of tiny elephants. Not afraid of mice. Optical or the kind with balls.
  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:51AM (2 children)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:51AM (#749321)

    At this point it looks like Boeing is just a way for politicians to give US taxpayers money away.

    If a useful product comes out the other end, that's nice bonus. The important thing is a bunch of jobs the Senator or Congressman can point to.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MostCynical on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:10AM (1 child)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:10AM (#749329) Journal

      If a useful product comes out the other end, that's nice bonusmoney that could have been spent on bigger bonuses.

      FTFY

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:58AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:58AM (#749325)

    Shills? More fairly unbalanced than an aristarchus submission. Guess editorship has its privilege.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:45AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:45AM (#749344)

      It sounds to me like aristarchus needs to unplug, man. You know, get some R and R?

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:48AM (2 children)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:48AM (#749346) Journal

        IDK, the right plug might help out a lot.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:50AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:50AM (#749371)

          Who is this aristarchus of whom you speak? Does he have a fixation on the SLS?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:07PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:07PM (#749506)

            Hmm, from what I've gathered in this thread, it sounds like he may be homosexual, and thus likely a member of the alt-right.

  • (Score: 2) by snufu on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:19AM (5 children)

    by snufu (5855) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:19AM (#749333)

    That put the first human on the moon. On the fing moon. On time. Whereas Boeing has the lead in creating a "bloated, grounded, peice of vaporvessel built with 2010s pork and mirrors."

    And lel at the astronomer smack:

    'Perhaps NASA astronomers will soon be able to judge exactly how many "light years ahead" SLS is by measuring the program's redshift or blueshift with one of several ground- and space-based telescopes.'

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:22AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:22AM (#749334)

      No, the rickety metal bucket put the "astronauts" on a soundstage... flags don't flutter on the real moon.

      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:53AM (3 children)

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:53AM (#749352)

        Good Lord! What's next, a Flat Earther on SoylentNews?

        Unless that's some kind of joke. In which case: well played sir!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:21AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:21AM (#749359)

          Flat Earth, electric universe, you name it.

          But I think we need more weather war.

          In fact, the flag fluttering on the moon is proof of a lunar atmosphere that NOAA doesn't want us to know about! (Clearly!) NOAA is planning to use chemtrails and artificial hail storms against anyone who tries to set up a moon base before Boeing!

          • (Score: 2) by Kell on Tuesday October 16 2018, @04:03AM (1 child)

            by Kell (292) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @04:03AM (#749394)

            -1 Incomprehendable?

            --
            Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:09PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:09PM (#749508)

              Damn. This is why we need more conspiracy theory innovation! Weather war is just asking for greenfield development. Should I have made the moon hollow and put the atmosphere on the inside?

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:25AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @01:25AM (#749336)

    At least Boeing has a Chairman.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:35AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:35AM (#749366)

    Isn't that why the GAO was created?

    One would think the GOA would mosie on over to NASA, and instruct them that if they don't demand the fucking bonus checks back, somebody is going to jail. Because when the federal government pays for shit it didn't get, that is called fraud, and it is a felony.

    Of course you don't see much reporting on things like that. God knows it isn't as cool as conspiring to astroturf for mobbed up chop shop brokerages that couldn't take a joke on twitter. But hey, it is actually a crime. A real one. Not a brainfart on a medium that is specifically built to maximize the desemination of brain farts.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday October 16 2018, @07:26AM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 16 2018, @07:26AM (#749429) Homepage Journal

      That's how I requested a defense contractor release me from an unclassified subcontract of their classified one.

      They actually went so far as to have prototype hardware built with THE WRONG PART soldered right in, despite that they knew damn well I'd spent six weeks trying to work around a mask error.

      The vendor's developer tech support resigned a month after I so informed the primary contractor.

      ProTip: Don't select the part then select the consultant who knows about that part, rather select the consultant who selects the part that actually works.

      Indigita would have been just fine.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 16 2018, @02:22PM (#749533)

      $323 million?

      I think a false claims act suite might be appropriate. After all the negotiation is done, there could be a whole new space company born just from the juice on litigating the bonus's.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday October 16 2018, @07:20AM (4 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 16 2018, @07:20AM (#749428) Homepage Journal

    "It's a finance company that just happens to make airplanes."

    He offered me the use of his 3D printer but I have no clue what to make with it.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Tuesday October 16 2018, @08:01AM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 16 2018, @08:01AM (#749436) Journal

      I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?

      Dildos. There's a great future in dildos. Think about it. Will you think about it?
      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by SpockLogic on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:45PM (2 children)

        by SpockLogic (2762) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @12:45PM (#749497)

        But if Boeing built one it would be the size of a 747 fuselage. That would sure as hell make your eyes water.

        --
        Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Tuesday October 16 2018, @10:21PM (1 child)

    by linkdude64 (5482) on Tuesday October 16 2018, @10:21PM (#749680)

    von Braun was a greater man than any who would ever look twice at the nonsense they call writing. The science community should be up in arms.

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