NASA has just announced that it will broadcast to the public the static fire test video of its new SLS rocket. This is good news because the project has experienced a period of delays and cost overruns.At the same time, the space agency also released itsBrief update of Artemis Project SLS is a major part of the project, but not all of it is good news.
In its latest briefing, NASA snuck out a "sideshow" about the overall cost of the entire project, which, as you might expect, has not become cheaper. Instead, it is now 30% more expensive than previously planned.
NASA also adjusted the development costs of SLS and exploration ground system projects through Artemis I, and established new cost commitments. The new development baseline cost for SLS is $9.1 billion, and the budget for initial ground system capabilities to support the mission is now $2.4 billion.
All in all, this is about a third more than the latest estimated program cost calculated in 2017. In short, the deeper the R & D work is, the easier it is to find out the high costs, while the rewards we see are delays again and again.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on NASA. NASA has taken the covid-19 pandemic as one of the reasons for the slow progress of SLS rocket research and development this year. However, the public is no longer surprised that the substantial increase in cost and substantial delay have become the norm.
But NASA seems very optimistic about the whole thing.
We are more than a year away from seeing the first launch of the SLS rocket, even though there is no further delay during this period.