There’s a new report on SLS rocket management, and it’s pretty brutal

https://arstechnica.com/?p=1391827


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This artist rendering shows an aerial view of the liftoff of the SLS rocket during Exploration Mission 1.

NASA

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.

There are other troubling hints about schedule in this new report, too. One concerns facilities at Stennis Space Center in Southern Mississippi, where NASA will conduct a “green run” test of the core stage of the SLS rocket. This is a critical test that will involve a full-scale firing of the rocket’s core stage—four main engines along with liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel tanks—for a simulated launch and ascent into space.

via Ars Technica https://arstechnica.com

October 10, 2018 at 12:06PM

About peterjang73

A nerdy father of two, a husband of a beautiful and understanding wife, an engineer who loves anime and tinkering with PCs and games, but most of all, loves God.
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