Home » News & Blogs » SLS, Shuttle, and The Danger of the “No Payloads” Argument
Bookmark and Share
Selenian Boondocks

SLS, Shuttle, and The Danger of the “No Payloads” Argument

3 Jun 2015, 06:24 UTC
SLS, Shuttle, and The Danger of the “No Payloads” Argument
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I’m not a particularly big fan of NASA’s SLS1. Anyone paying attention with even a shred of self-honesty can tell that two of the primary reasons why Congress forced NASA to build SLS were to preserve and enlarge payrolls at NASA centers in their districts and to line the pockets (on an uncompeted basis) of politically connected contractors. In frustration with this situation, many of SLS’s critics in industry (yours truly included) have argued against SLS funding by saying that NASA is rushing to build a rocket without building payloads for it. I’m starting to wonder if this is a wise line of argument.
It’s not that the argument isn’t sound–rushing to build a rocket when it sucks so much air out of the room that you can’t start funding useful missions for the rocket until after the rocket is complete is stupid. It’s a guaranteed way to have to pay the maintenance cost of said rocket for many years after it is built just to keep it around till payloads are ready, which will keep sucking a lot of the air out of the room for development of said payloads. Of course, NASA would fly the vehicle on a ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod