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posted by martyb on Tuesday March 12 2019, @02:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the Merlin,-Falcon-9,-and-Falcon-Heavy-were-developed-for-less-than-$1B-total dept.

NASA budget proposal targets SLS (Space Launch System)

The White House's fiscal year 2020 budget request for NASA proposes to delay work on an upgraded version of the Space Launch System and would transfer some of that vehicle's payloads to other rockets.

The proposal, released by the Office of Management and Budget March 11, offers a total of $21 billion for the space agency, a decrease of $500 million over what Congress appropriated in the final fiscal year 2019 spending bill signed into law Feb. 15.

A major element of the proposal is to defer work on the Block 1B version of the SLS, which would increase the rocket's performance by replacing its existing Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage with the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage. The budget "instead focuses the program on the completion of the initial version of the SLS and supporting a reliable SLS and Orion annual flight cadence," the OMB budget stated. The first SLS/Orion mission, without a crew, is now planned for the "early 2020s," according to the budget, an apparent slip from the planned 2020 launch of Exploration Mission 1.

NASA had previously planned to use the Block 1B version of SLS to launch elements of its lunar Gateway, using a "co-manifesting" capability enabled by the rocket's greater performance. Instead, according to the budget document, those components will be launched on "competitively procured vehicles, complementing crew transport flights on the SLS and Orion."

[...] The budget proposal would also remove one non-exploration payload from the SLS manifest. The proposal offers $600 million for the Europa Clipper mission, enabling a launch in 2023. However, NASA would instead seek to launch the mission on a commercial launch vehicle rather than SLS, a move it claims "would save over $700 million, allowing multiple new activities to be funded across the Agency." The fiscal year 2019 budget request also proposed a commercial launch of Europa Clipper, but Congress placed into law in the final funding bill the requirement to use SLS for that mission.

Are we nearing a good timeline?

Related: After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
House Spending Bill Offers NASA More Money Than the Agency or Administration Wanted
NASA Administrator Ponders the Fate of SLS in Interview
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Could Launch Japanese and European Payloads to Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway
Northrop Grumman Exec Warns of Coming "Affordability" in the Space Launch System's Future
Impact of the Midterm Elections May be Felt at NASA
When Space Science Becomes a Political Liability


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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 14 2019, @10:33PM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 14 2019, @10:33PM (#814517) Journal

    The 9/11 Commission report concluded that while 15 of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks were from Saudi Arabia, there was no evidence the government of Saudi Arabia funded the attacks. However, it does identify private individuals and organizations in Saudi Arabia as the primary funding source for al-Qaeda overall.

    So the 9/11 commission agrees with me? Then what's the problem? Again, we have Al Qaeda operating openly in Afghanistan with a military unit [wikipedia.org] of several thousand based in Northern Afghanistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile we have support from a few Saudi citizens. So we're to invade Saudi Arabia for stuff it didn't do and ignore the transgressions of the Taliban government?

  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Thursday March 14 2019, @11:45PM (1 child)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Thursday March 14 2019, @11:45PM (#814537)

    it does identify private individuals and organizations in Saudi Arabia as the primary funding source for al-Qaeda overall.

    But let's invade Iraq.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 15 2019, @03:16AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 15 2019, @03:16AM (#814628) Journal

      But let's invade Iraq.

      That's a different ball game. I happen to think the world is better for that invasion, BUT it was justified on bogus grounds and a number of people apparently knew that ahead of time (such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Rumsfeld who suddenly changed his story when it became evidence that WMD would not be found in Iraq around March, 2003).