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NASA's SLS rocket becomes Boeing’s latest headache as Trump demands moon mission before 2020 election
[Redit on WaPo article] Boeing senior executives arrived at NASA headquarters two weeks ago for what they knew would be a tense meeting. The rocket they’ve been building for NASA was behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Worse yet, there was no way it was going to be ready for a scheduled maiden launch in June 2020.

One estimate had the rocket launch as late as November 2021, and NASA’s leaders were furious, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid about sensitive negotiations. President Trump and Vice President Pence wanted NASA to pull off something big and bold with human spaceflight before the 2020 election: sending a crewless capsule around the moon in a precursor to an eventual return of American astronauts to the lunar surface.
Posted by:3dc

#11  As heartless as it sounds, if NASA does blow one of its own missions up, this time it will find itself cancelled, and good riddance. The private companies are now present to do what it always pretended it would eventually do (and those companies are not the traditional arms contractors who want to just keep sucking up money, like Boeing). Let them do it and let Boeing wither. They seem utterly incapable of quality. Delays in delivering the new tankers, faults that were covered up in those planes that are falling out of the sky, and these rockets that apparently don't exist. Nothing is really going well (other than Airbus being on the bleeding edge of bankruptcy).
Posted by: Vernal Hatrack2366   2019-03-23 21:35  

#10  Space X. NASA went away when they started with the muslim outreach program and JPL is still blowing smoke over man made global warming.
Posted by: Woodrow   2019-03-23 18:44  

#9  I'm glad someone else is running with some Shep Smith jokes - they practically write themselves!
Posted by: Raj   2019-03-23 17:22  

#8  #7 But in his case, it's incoming.

And how can see it coming without a rearview mirror?
Posted by: charger   2019-03-23 15:44  

#7  "Steely eyed missile man" seems to have been a passing phase.


Posted by: Skidmark   2019-03-23 12:47  

#6  #4 TFSM,

One of Dad's stories that has stayed with me the longest was in the late 80s, he was assigned as the team chief for the design of a triple-sonic-plus air intake - but he was going to have to wait until the research was done, which was going to be something on the order of three YEARS.

Dad did some thinking, and started digging into the NASA archives. He found just what they the the mountains of data collected when NASA owned the surviving XB-70 Valkyrie in the late 60s and early 70s. Feeling rather proud of himself, he went to his boss and gave him the good news.

Unfortunately, that worthy had a meltdown worthy of an MSNBC host reading the Mueller report, and told Dad to not only drop the idea, but forget he'd ever even seen it. Upon returning to his section, he told his team what had happened and they explained it: using existing data doesn't get NASA or contractors any money. The wheel gets reinvented every time, whether it needs to be or not.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski   2019-03-23 12:28  

#5  Not enough muslims have been outreached.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles   2019-03-23 11:38  

#4  Mike, they get a couple billion dollars a year more than Musk to spend on development. If they can't send an unmanned capsule around the moon they need to lose their funding. They've spent something like 30 billion on it over the last ten years, and it's still not ready?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain   2019-03-23 11:01  

#3  "Steely eyed missile man" seems to have been a passing phase.
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839   2019-03-23 10:33  

#2  NASA seems to be the NHS of space.

Idiots think it's a good idea. It kills people and eats taxpayer's money in large quantities.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles   2019-03-23 08:15  

#1  ...As another space traveler once said, "I've got a bad feeling about this." My dad retired from NASA - he started just after the Challenger accident and retired just before Columbia went in (he received an award for his work on Columbia, and was to have been given it by the mission commander had they gotten back). His opinion of the NASA leadership was withering - they did not exist to explore or research, but to insure money got to contractors. And not long before he passed last January, he told me that he believed any effort to get a ship - manned or otherwise - around the Moon would result in a spectacular and embarrassing failure, especially if they were pushed into it.

I simply cannot see NASA having the courage - political, technical, or otherwise - to challenge their Congressional masters, and Boeing will not have the guts to stand up and say they're not ready. Someone will say "Fly the mission," and a couple billion people will watch as we launch the world's biggest and most expensive bottle rocket while Mr. Bezos and Mr. Musk keep successfully flying their privately funded birds.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski   2019-03-23 07:27