Here’s why a commercial space group endorsed NASA’s SLS rocket

Why did a commercial organization endorse the SLS rocket?


This week, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which counts rocket builders SpaceX and Blue Origin among its executive members, made news by declaring its support for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. The organization’s new chairman, Alan Stern, announced during a conference that “we see many benefits in the development of NASA’s SLS.” This caused a stir in the commercial space community.

Later, during an interview with Ars, Stern explained that the commercial space organization has, in the past, engaged in a “bruising battle” over the government’s massive rocket and its influential prime contractor Boeing. The commercial space industry group (of which Boeing is not a member) contended the private sector could deliver the same capability as the SLS for far less than the $2 billion NASA has spent annually this decade to develop the rocket. The SLS will initially be able to heft 70 metric tons to low Earth orbit, but that could grow to 130 metric tons by the late 2020s.

from Ars Technica

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