NASA is moving towards the Space Launch System

NASA anticipates initiating a full and open competition for the advanced booster system in FY2015 with award anticipated in FY2016 and hardware delivery in the FY2019 timeframe. The 130-metric-ton, evolved SLS is slated for completion following the 2021 test flight.

The Space Launch system will end up costing tens to hundreds of billions of dollars more than alternative systems and will take many years longer to complete

There are other cost estimates that go as high as $62.5 billion to build and operate SLS through 2015. The $38 billion estimate to 2025 has been criticized as unrealistic. Just a simple projection of maintaining $3 billion per year to 2032 is $63 billion. Given the history of this kind of rocket development costs to 2032 are more likely to be $120-250 billion and there would be delays to 2035-2045.

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