March 09, 2017

US still not killing Space Launch System and not yet engaging Spacex for Mars

There is a $19.5 billion funding bill that has been approved by the US congress. This is a slight increase from last years $19.3 billion funding.

It is more of the same NASA funding that has been mostly repeating since George Bush 2 and even George Bush 1 and Clinton and Obama.

The new plan says make a roadmap to send people to Mars by 2033 and the US will still fund the overpriced by 10 times or more space launch system.

Journey to Mars — asks NASA for a roadmap to send people to Mars by 2033 and moves NASA away from the Asteroid Redirect Mission.

Assuring Core Capabilities For Exploration :
an uncrewed launch of SLS and Orion in 2018
a crewed mission to the moon in 2021
more trips to the moon and Mars after that date.

NOTE -Spacex and Elon Musk have discussed unmanned Mars missions in 2020 and a manned Mars mission around 2024. Spacex and Elon Musk would have costs that are ten times less than NASA and 8 to 10 years earlier.



The Space Exploration Initiative was a 1989–1993 space public policy initiative of the George H. W. Bush administration. On July 20, 1989, the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, George H. W. Bush — then President of the United States — announced plans for what came to be known as the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). In a speech on the steps of the National Air and Space Museum he described plans calling for constructing Space Station Freedom, sending humans back to the Moon "to stay" and ultimately sending astronauts to explore Mars. He proposed not a 10-year Apollo-style plan, but a long-range continuing commitment based on the three above elements, ending with “a journey into tomorrow – a journey to another planet – a manned mission to Mars.”

The Space Launch System (SLS) is an American Space Shuttle-derived heavy expendable launch vehicle being designed by NASA. It follows the cancellation of the Constellation program, and is to replace the retired Space Shuttle.

The Constellation Program was a manned spaceflight program developed by NASA, the space agency of the United States, from 2005 to 2009. The major goals of the program were "completion of the International Space Station" and a "return to the Moon no later than 2020" with a crewed flight to the planet Mars as the ultimate goal. The program's logo reflected the three stages of the program: the Earth (ISS), the Moon, and finally Mars—while the Mars goal also found expression in the name given to the program's booster rocket.

NASA estimated that the original Constellation related policy would cost $230 billion (in 2004 dollars) through 2025, including the Commercial Crew and Cargo program, which is separate from the Constellation program. However, unsolved technical and design challenges made it impossible for NASA to provide a conclusive estimate.

Upon taking office, President Obama declared Constellation to be "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation." A review concluded that it would cost on the order of $150 billion for Constellation to reach its objective if adhering to the original schedule. Another review in 2009, ordered by President Obama, indicated that neither a return to the Moon nor a manned flight to Mars was within NASA's current budget.

$9 billion as spent on Constellation before they pulled the plug.
About $10 billion has been spent on Space Launch System so far. Spending is at about $2 to 3 billion per year.

NASA hoped in 2012 that each eventual space launch would cost $500 million but most estimate that each launch will be about $2 billion (without including the $50-90 billion of development cost).

Combined Constellation and Space Launch System will have spent $23 billion before the first launch of Space launch system late in 2018 (assuming no delays from this point).

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated in 2010 that he would "personally guarantee" that his company could build the conceptual Falcon XX, a vehicle in the 140-150 t payload range, for $2.5 billion, or $300 million per launch, but cautioned that this price tag did not include a potential upper-stage upgrade. SpaceX's privately funded MCT launch vehicle, powered by multiple Raptor engines, has also been proposed for lifting very large payloads from Earth in the 2020






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