The mobile launcher for the Space Launch System rocket, initially meant for the launch of Ares 1, will likely only be used once despite its expensive price tag.
A tower that it took the agency two years to build has essentially taken eight years to modify. Credit: NASA
With a price tag of $1 billion, a mobile launcher built by NASA to be used for the launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket isn’t all likely to live long and prosper. According to a report on NASASpaceflight.com, the expensive tower is “leaning” and “bending” northwards, and will likely only ever be used once.
However, NASA insists it is “structurally sound and does not require modifications”, the report says. Initially, the construction for the mobile launcher had begun for the Ares 1 rocket, but the structure has over time been going structural modifications for the SLS.
“For now, NASA says, the lean is not sufficient enough to require corrective action, but it is developing contingency plans in case the lean angle becomes steeper,” reports Ars Technica.
“In fact, it is entirely possible that the launch tower may serve only for the maiden flight of the SLS rocket in 2020 and ...