SpaceX Launches Starships Monthly While SLS Started in 2011 And Has Not Launched

SpaceX has had monthly test launches every month for the past three months.

The Space Launch System (SLS) program started in 2011. They have never launched. The first launch has been delayed over five years. The first launch will not be made in 2021 and is sliding into 2022 and possibly later. The SLS program has spent about $20 billion.

SpaceX will up the test candence towards weekly launches later in 2021. This will likely start speeding up after two more test launches and all of the landing problems are resolved.

SOURCES- Brendan_Lewis, Artzius, Wikipedia
Written by Brian Wang,

34 thoughts on “SpaceX Launches Starships Monthly While SLS Started in 2011 And Has Not Launched”

  1. There was a tweet implying that the helium system added due to SN8 may have caused helium ingestion into the engines. Apparently SN11 doesn't have that helium system, plus some other tweaks, so we'll probably see a different RUD this Friday…

  2. Meow! Someone doesn't like technological progress.
    Space-X is progressing by leaps and bounds. Why don't you go back to the NASA site where they sing the praises of the SLS in all its mediocrity?
    "No SLS rockets have blown up, meaning SLS is better…"
    No, that's not how things work. Elon has obsoleted the entire rest of the playing field with Space-X. It's what he does.

    Space-X is to rockets what the HMS Dreadnought was to battleships. Everything that came before is now utterly useless.

  3. Agreed. The SLS was never meant to be a rocket but a payoff system to keep technicians employed in key states.
    I love when I tune into some TV program where they go to Mars and it starts out showing an SLS headed for Mars.
    FAIL! How good can the rest of the show be if they have an SLS going to Mars?

  4. lol accusing someone of being a CCP troll on a techno futurist porn site run by a guy of Chinese descent who repeatedly rallies his clueless American electoral public against the SLS. I don't mind in the slightest, it's just pretty funny

  5. If they could actually RECOVER an engine after an engine failure, wouldn't that give them more clues?

    Why aren't they simulating landing maybe 20m above water, but then flipping horizontal again to splash down?

  6. Interesting. I wonder if that relates to the one engine starting oxygen rich. You can see that one engine on restart has a green exhaust plume, due to the copper lining being burnt away by the oxidizing environment. This only lasts a moment, but it's not usual.

    Apparently that engine was starved for fuel, at least on ignition.

    I've been wondering how well their hydrodynamic bearings handle the extreme gimbal motions. Rotating machinery like turbopumps really do not 'like' being rapidly deflected. The engines seem to perform well enough on the way up, but that's prior to being rapidly deflected around while firing. Perhaps that's degrading the turbopump bearings?

  7. So, if you are an experienced rocket engineer, or have experience in costing, you can give us at least 20 reasons why Spacex starship is better than Shuttle or Sea Dragon and has a more versatile, low cost, reusable, future mission envelope. If you can't, you should probably read a wheelbarrow of paper engineering studies, going back from the 1920'ies till today, before you utter another uninformed iota or, alternatively, tell us what concept can do what SpaceX's vision, in your more humbly expressed opinion, cannot and will not do. Including with regards to in-Space refueling which has been demonstrated for over 20years on the ISS and in 2017-2020 with dedicated missions for cryogenic refueling tests, which as a well informed person you know happened; and Sanger-style approaches to suborbital travel; Your take on a more capable design would be more interesting, than your insulting behavior where you did nothing but demonstrate an inaptitude to communicate in a respectable manner with the respectable contributors on this site.

  8. Landing legs weren't the main issue. Latest Elon tweet: "Thrust was low despite being commanded high for reasons unknown at present, hence hard touchdown. We’ve never seen this before. Next time, min two engines all the way to the ground & restart engine 3 if engine 1 or 2 have issues."

    If you watch the landing closely you see it bounce a little. It's not supposed to hit that hard.

  9. sea dragon at least wasn't selling orbital refueling and reentry and 2x a day Rijad-LA flight for the price of business class. in that regard, the concept, which btw included realistic production and delivery timelines based on existing hardware and factories, was much more realistic than this sandbox of childish dreams for nerds who never read and engineering book.

    never said SpaceX isn't real, that's just your Elon worship conflating everything together

  10. Oh because somehow SpaceX isn't "real" rocketry.

    I mean we all know that real rockets are the ones that don't fly. I mean Sea Dragon- that was a REAL rocket.

  11. Apparently Bezos can't even do that.

    By the way, total number of kilograms delivered to orbit by Blue Origin: 0

  12. They did exactly that with the first test version called Starhopper that had very robust heavy legs. The legs on Starship haven’t been the failure point until now and SpaceX will address on SN11.

  13. typical Elon fan BS argument. "oh, look at this vastly different, conventional and orders of magnitude less complex and capable rocket, which was only 4 years late, it's proof that this Starship thing will work"
    I know enough about engineering development to know that you know nothing and are just posturing. Hint, look at the history of Skunk works and how their timeline and test methodologies differ. There is nothing aggressive about doing the easiest part of the design and blowing up 6 test articles doing it. It is just reckless and amateurish, designed to impress gullible investors and space nerds.

  14. You obviously know nothing about aggressive engineering development. When you're doing something new, if you're not getting failures, you're not pushing the envelope.

    I could vaguely understand your attitude if the Falcon weren't flying almost every week. But it is, so you know Musk and SpaceX can deliver.

  15. not everyone is keen on burning money just to impress clueless nerds on internet and have new ppt slides to lure some more money from clueless investors. just bc. something can be done, doesn't mean it has or needs to be done

  16. I forgot that among Elon cultist, only negativity towards other, notably REAL rockets, is allowed. Brian does decent work in general, but is transparent and tiresome in his elon shilling

  17. OK, then. You crash a 15 story tall rocket after it's reached 10km altitude and done skydiving maneuvers on the way down.

    Since it's so easy, we'll give you a few months to do it in.

  18. Great pace in Starship testing, congrats on the landing, but RUDs getting a little unnerving. SpaceX, please upgrade the Starship landing legs, they aren't cutting it. They should not worry about max payload right now, plenty of time optimize that later, like they did with Falcon9. Concentrate on robust design first.

  19. You don't have to be here. Please take your negativity somewhere else, thank you. Brian does exceptional work.

  20. To be honest, if Brian Wang had any clue about rocket building, he wouldn't have such a popular blog with other clueless space nerds

  21. We'll see, Dr. It may very well be that once the SLS production completes and they get to testing, the SLS end up getting people to Mars before SpaceX. We can't know. The point about the different production styles stands. Iterative approaches always appear quicker on the surface, but sometimes slow and steady wins the race. It'll be interesting to see.

  22. Ah, I see. When you look at it that way, the claim of monthly is correct. But I think the other part of my comment still holds. The two are taking completely different approaches to developing a rocket, and neither is done yet, so their milestones are not comparable. The only fair comparison can be done when one or both have finished, operational rockets. I'd bet that SpaceX will come out way ahead in a comparison at that point, but they aren't there yet.

  23. Haha I thought the same thing. In fact while re-watching I couldn’t help reflect on how good movie effects are actually are that real life looks like a movie…

  24. Wasn't it SN8 in December, SN9 in February, and SN10 in March? Not quite monthly for the last three months, as the article says. Still, what you said is approximately correct.

    However, the comparison with SLS is sort of pointless, given the development process the two projects are using is so completely different. I'm no fan of SLS, but let's keep the criticism of it on point.

  25. And these launches are just tests (with R.U.D.s and all).

    When they finally get good at it, the pace of launches and the newly gained cargo capability will leave everyone astounded.

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