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NASA Space Technology

Russia Abandons Super-Rocket Designed To Compete With SLS 179

schwit1 writes Russia has decided to abandon an expensive attempt to build an SLS-like super-rocket and will instead focus on incremental development of its smaller but less costly Angara rocket. "Facing significant budgetary pressures, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, has indefinitely postponed its ambitious effort to develop a super-heavy rocket to rival NASA's next-generation Space Launch System, SLS. Instead, Russia will focus on radical upgrades of its brand-new but smaller Angara-5 rocket which had its inaugural flight in Dec. 2014, the agency's Scientific and Technical Council, NTS, decided on Thursday, March 12." For Russia's space industry, it appears that these budgetary pressures have been a blessing in disguise. Rather than waste billions on an inefficient rocket for which there is no commercial demand — as NASA is doing with SLS (under orders from a wasteful Congress) — they will instead work on further upgrades of Angara, much like SpaceX has done with its Falcon family of rockets. This will cost far less, is very efficient, and provides them a better chance to compete for commercial launches that can help pay for it all. And best of all, it offers them the least costly path to future interplanetary missions, which means they might actually be able to make those missions happen. To quote the article again: "By switching upper stages of the existing Angara from kerosene to the more potent hydrogen fuel, engineers might be able to boost the rocket's payload from current 25 tons to 35 tons for missions to the low Earth orbit. According to Roscosmos, Angara-A5V could be used for piloted missions to the vicinity of the Moon and to its surface." In a sense, the race is now on between Angara-A5V and Falcon Heavy.
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Russia Abandons Super-Rocket Designed To Compete With SLS

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 15, 2015 @02:31AM (#49259925)

    SpaceX found that hydrogen fuel is not an improvement over methane when you include all the extra complexity (and weight) of dealing with super cold and very small atoms, both resulting in brittle metals. SpaceX does intend to switch to methane, which is a small improvement over kerosene, and unlike kerosene does not leave difficult to clean residue in pipes and engine parts.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @04:10AM (#49260131)
      Hydrogen, even used chemically, could be quite useful (especially with detonation based rockets (constant volume combustion)) for large interplanetary spacecrafts once you have them in orbit. But NOT until we have them. For a launch vehicle? That doesn't make much sense. The tankage size and T/W requirements (pumping power proportional to pV!) speak against it.
      • Hydrogen, even used chemically, could be quite useful (especially with detonation based rockets (constant volume combustion)) for large interplanetary spacecrafts once you have them in orbit.

        Once you are in orbit, wouldn't it make more sense to use an ion engine [wikipedia.org]?

        • It depends on what for. Trans-Martian injection of a crewed vehicle (especially a large one), for example, would be problematic with an ion engine. How much time would you want to spend in the radiation belts? ;-)
        • by Megane ( 129182 )
          Sure, if you don't mind waiting for it to get there. For a manned mission, probably not so much.
    • That's because they are a little startup without the resources to deal with such complexity and not a very large org that already has experience using that fuel.
      Yes hydrogen has many issues, like the embrittlement problem that's been known about and dealt with since the 1940s, but it's a tradeoff that some can do already but is uneconomic for others to go near.
      • I'd think that hydrogen is somewhat uneconomical for launch vehicles also because it generally gets used in upper stages, so you need more different pieces of launch pad infrastructure, and all-importantly, at least two types of engines. The fact that some other companies are not "little startups" still doesn't protect them from the effect of economies of scale. (And if you want to suggest unifying on hydrogen, check out the boondoggle named "Delta IV".) Look at how hideously expensive the RL-10 has ended u

      • Yes, but in addition to that the trade-offs are inherently different for re-usable rockets. Embrittlement is probably a pretty big problem if you intend to re-use your fuel tank many times, like SpaceX intends to.

        If SpaceX fails to make their second stage re-usable I would not be surprised to see them switch to hydrogen for that stage at some point down the line.

    • by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @09:13AM (#49261019)

      At about 10m15s in this press conference [youtube.com], Elon calls hydrogen a "pernicious molecule" while fielding a question about fuel cells. He also mentions some other drawbacks, such as its being odorless and invisible (so you can't smell when it's leaking), and it's extremely flammable... and burns with an invisible flame.

      Hydrogen is very efficient as a rocket fuel, which is why it's used. But liquid methane is pretty good too, and has a lot fewer "issues" to deal with.

  • MOAR BOOSTERS! (Score:3, Informative)

    by jordanjay29 ( 1298951 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @02:34AM (#49259943)
    I love how the Russian "SLS" version had four boosters [sen.com]. Someone over there must play Kerbal Space Program.
  • Translation: "Russia can't even afford the power points for it's super heavy booster, so it's going to concentrate on the development of an unproven booster that budget crunches have already delayed for over two decades."

    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `8691tsaebssab'> on Sunday March 15, 2015 @06:40AM (#49260525) Journal

      Well considering that we wasted a couple decades on a "space truck" that actually met NONE of its original goals, not weight carrying, not turn around, and not cost per load, and was designed more for passing pork than anything else (just like the new one, which is why so much shuttle shit is included despite the boosters being what killed Challenger) while the Soviets were able to build the most dependable rocket family in history with Soyuz?

      Frankly I give them better odds than I do the USA as it seems the only projects NASA has been able to get done has been the ones that are small enough Senator Porkus and Congressman Bribaton haven't gotten a whiff of. With the amount of money being shat into SLS? It will end up with each widget being built in a different state (and some states having a widget per district) so you end up with a bloated whale that when it comes together will probably leak like a sieve and be only good for blasting money into space.

      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @08:05AM (#49260805)

        The "space truck" was actually a complete space station. It had living space for seven people, airlocks for EVAs, a shower and a toilet as well as having 20 tonnes of cargo space in the back of the "truck" and a payload arm/manipulator.

        The Shuttle had considerable cross-range capability once in orbit with up to 18 tonnes of manoeuvering fuel (twice the total payload of a current Falcon 9) and could stay in orbit for up to a month if needed with a reduced crew. It did most of the heavy lifting of the construction of the ISS in orbit and carried out multiple Hubble repair and upgrade missions. At the end it came back down to Earth and landed on a runway.

        The Dragon capsule is purely for canned monkeys with no toilet, no shower, no airlocks and no EVA capability. It has no cargo capacity, no manipulator arm, limited cross-range capacity in orbit and limited endurance and it certainly can't be used to carry out maintenance flights to the Hubble or its successors.

        • And you're saying that even this additional capability was worth extra $1B per flight? I beg to differ. The idea that you couldn't achieve the things you named without a one-size-fits-all vehicle is preposterous.
          • by nojayuk ( 567177 )

            How much would it cost to build and launch an 50-tonne "workshop" spacecraft to do the Shuttle's job and then ditch it into the upper atmosphere after every flight? A lot more than a billion a flight, never mind the extra launch of a manned capsule to dock with the Space Workshop module.

            A recoverable and reusable spacecraft with the capabilities to do the same job as the Shuttle would need heat-tiling, some aerodynamic appendages to control re-entry and oh look! it's a Space Shuttle!

            Saying that the Shuttle

            • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

              by thrich81 ( 1357561 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @10:18AM (#49261259)

              The Shuttle never lived up to what it was sold as -- cheap, reliable access to space. The most damning evidence of that is that the only major sponsor/user besides NASA, the US Air Force, abandoned it as soon as its actual operational limitations became clear. The Air Force went to the expense of developing new large expendable launch vehicles rather than try to stick with the Shuttle. For the last few years the Shuttle had only one mission -- support the ISS, every other mission had been taken from it. And, the US had a perfectly viable space station program without the Shuttle -- Skylab, and for that matter, so did the Russians. Speaking of the Russians -- they figured out pretty quickly that the Space Shuttle concept was operationally a loser and abandoned their Buran version after one flight. So, the Shuttle looked good in the marketing slides from the 70's and early '80s, but has to be judged an operational failure by the standards set for its justifications to be built. The Shuttle could do things that no other vehicle can do, but those capabilities, such as its huge cross range landing capability, just turned out to be not very useful and not worth the cost.

              • There is no evidence that abandonment of Buran had anything to do with its practicality. A far more likely explanation, given the dates, is that it was all about the country being in a financial shithole where it simply couldn't afford the program.

            • How much would it cost to build and launch an 50-tonne "workshop" spacecraft to do the Shuttle's job and then ditch it into the upper atmosphere after every flight?

              Why would you need such a thing, especially "on every flight"? Even Salyuts were under 20 tonnes, and that was with hard (and rather rugged) structure and with all amenities. I suspect that with Bigelow's inflatable modules, you could cut that down almost by half, even when still keeping such things as robotic arms etc. Most of the mass of the Shuttle is the airframe, thermal protection, ten tonnes of engines, and the payload bay. There's absolutely no reason to haul it into orbit every time. It cost the US

              • by nojayuk ( 567177 )

                Every Shuttle flight needed spacewalks, the cargo bay, the spacelab, the manipulator or other features sadly lacking in a people-only spacecraft like the Dragon until the ISS was ready for habitation. The ISS couldn't have been built without the Shuttle though, not without a (non-existent at the time) SLS that could throw a complete space station or large ready-to-go part of it with spacesuit airlock(s), manipulator arm, power systems etc. into orbit in one launch. Even then a "fork-lift truck" spacecraft l

                • Every Shuttle flight needed spacewalks

                  Wrong.

                  , the cargo bay,

                  The thing is that one shouldn't be forced to haul large payloads with such a useless reusable vehicle in the first place. So some cargo capacity is certainly desirable but not for 300 m^3 and 24 tonnes. Even the lousy large launchers we already have are much more economical for such things.

                  the spacelab,

                  A thing like that could have stayed in the orbit.

                  the manipulator

                  A thing like that could have stayed in the orbit, too.

                  The ISS couldn't have been built without the Shuttle though, not without a (non-existent at the time) SLS that could throw a complete space station or large ready-to-go part of it with spacesuit airlock(s), manipulator arm, power systems etc. into orbit in one launch.

                  Mir was assembled without the Shuttle. Granted, even with the additional modules, it was smaller, but it could h

                • You can easily put an airlock in a capsule. Soyuz has one as does Shenzhou (orbital module). The manipulator could have been attached into the first space station core launched into orbit using a regular launch vehicle like a Delta IV Heavy. Delta IV Heavy has more payload than the Proton rocket which was used to launch the Mir modules and the Russian ISS segment. If, for whatever reason, you actually needed a mobile construction yard you could just launch a space tug into space and use that instead of wast

                  • They also decided that they didn't have the money to make the first stage design reusable so they tacked together a fuel tank with a couple of solid rocket boosters to do the same job. Then they gave the task of building the solid rocket boosters to ATK. The worst of both design choices. Why? So the pork could be spread to Utah as well. Then Challenger happened.

            • by khallow ( 566160 )

              How much would it cost to build and launch an 50-tonne "workshop" spacecraft to do the Shuttle's job and then ditch it into the upper atmosphere after every flight? A lot more than a billion a flight, never mind the extra launch of a manned capsule to dock with the Space Workshop module

              Why do that when you can launch 10-20 ton chunks into orbit and do all your "workshop" stuff on a permanent space station? For example, instead of developing the near useless Space Shuttle, NASA could have launched and assembled the ISS with the Saturn 1B back in the early 80s.

              And looking at your further post [slashdot.org] on the subject, it's not that hard to launch a teleoperated mechanic arm or two for moving and mating components of the station.

              Also, you claim the ISS wasn't even on the drawing board back in th

            • At the moment Dragon's only intended purpose is ferrying crews to the ISS

              Google "DragonLab".

            • Turning the Dragon launcher into a satellite launcher is easy. It's mostly just taking stuff out from the manned launcher and covering what's left with a launch shroud. As for the space shuttle, we'd have been better off just keeping the Saturn 5 launcher. It had a heavier payload, more reliable, and the design was paid for. Even if we had to launch 2 to get the men in orbit it would still have been cheaper and safer.
        • BTW, the Dragon could almost certainly do maintenance on the Hubble. And quite probably more easily in many respects. For starters, it wouldn't be forced to lift 80 tonnes of dead mass above the lowest LEO levels that Shuttle had to fly in to achieve reasonable payload. So it wouldn't need anywhere near 18 tonnes of fuel to do the same. And Falcon 9 has 13 tonnes of payload capacity to LEO, not 9. (Plus I'm also reasonably certain that Shuttle's OMS fuel load was limited by payload - that you couldn't have
          • Re:Translation (Score:4, Informative)

            by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @09:42AM (#49261111)

            The Dragon has no airlocks, no space (heh) for spacesuits, no external cargo capacity in the service module (although they're working on it) to carry spare parts, no manipulator arm to tether and position EVA personnel around the Hubble or other large space infrastructure item like, say, an ISS Mark 2. It's a minimal spam-in-a-can meatbag-to-orbit delivery system, not a lineman's truck with a cabover as the Shuttle was.

            The Shuttle's OMS fuel load could be maxed out to 18 tonnes if lots of in-orbit manoeuvering was planned at the cost of a reduced payload bay manifest. Most flights it didn't carry that much fuel but it didn't need to be rebuilt to take max fuel/oxidiser if the next flight necessitated it. Any Dragon plus disposable workshop mission is going to cost more and take longer as each workshop will have to be built and individually tailored to the expected mission's requirements. The other option is to build a son-of-Shuttle recoverable workshop/living quarters spacecraft, a bit like the autolanding X-37, but I don't see any budget for that anywhere.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              The Dragon doesn't need any of those things. Its purpose is to take a few people into orbit and back and not to weigh too much in the process of doing so. The idea to put the things you mention onto something that has to be launched every time at a significant cost, and equipped with increased reentry facilities (which also have to be launched) to return all those things afterwards is preposterous. Shuttle's half-tonne arm alone has subtracted almost 60 tonnes of total payload from all the Shuttle flights (
              • by nojayuk ( 567177 )

                "The Dragon doesn't need any of those things. Its purpose is to take a few people into orbit and back"

                Where are they going to go when they get to orbit? The ISS won't be there after 2020 or so. Bigelow is a lot of hot air. The Russian ISS-remnant will be serviced by Soyuz. So what's left for Dragon/Falcon apart from space tourism?

                The Dragon alone can't build an ISS Mark 2 or even a Mars Expeditionary vehicle, it needs a workshop vehicle/microstation to dock to for the crew to do anything significant in orbi

                • Where are they going to go when they get to orbit? The ISS won't be there after 2020 or so

                  I think you meant 2024?

                  Bigelow is a lot of hot air.

                  Here's your first lot of hot air :-) [nasa.gov], already having been packaged for delivery to the ISS, probably in September.

                  The Russian ISS-remnant will be serviced by Soyuz.

                  What "ISS remnant"? There most likely won't be any such "remnant". Russians don't have money to even finish their planned modules and to launch them, much less to refurbish an already expired set of modules in orbit. Zarya will be 30 years old by 2024, but it is American property now. Zvezda's structural frame dates back to 1985! It will be almost 40 years old by 2024...

                  • For all we know the Russians could build their next space station together with the Chinese.

                    • It looks like Chinese economy is growing in such a way that around 2025-2030, Russians could be "second-class contributors" to a Russian-Chinese station in exactly the same way as they are now on the ISS. But I'm not sure how they would stomach something like that...
        • I think you and me have VERY different definitions of what a shower is.

          "But on the International Space Station and NASA shuttles, astronauts have a squirt gun that shoots water and a wash cloth. They also have a special rinse-less shampoo to keep their hair clean."
          http://www.space.com/7060-slee... [space.com]

          • Note: I wasn't saying that your definition is wrong, just I wouldn't quite refer to such a device as a shower.

      • Soyuz is dependable because it's simple and because it's old. Today it's reasonably cheap (especially the Soyuz-U modification) because it paid itself off a very, VERY long time ago (although even with Russian labor prices, the old design is probably more expensive than would be strictly necessary with modern manufacturing). But even Soyuz also had something like fifty or sixty launch failures in the first two decades before the kinks got ironed out. The Shuttle cost more, but at least it didn't need that.
        • The same engine design is also be basis for the RD-191 rocket engine used in Angara.

          • It is ironic that the losing design proposal for Angara - one that proposed using RD-180 in the core stages - lost, among other things, for the reason of RD-180 not existing at that time. The objection was that developing a new engine would cost a lot of money - despite the fact that the RD-180 is something like a 70%-identical version of RD-170! (Identical combustion chambers, scaled-down pump.) I think it speaks volumes that all these "new" Russian engines are modifications and derivatives of the original
      • by Megane ( 129182 )
        To be completely fair, it wasn't the SRBs that killed Challenger, it was the side-mounted configuration that killed both Challenger and Columbia.
        • No, it was the stupid PR people and managers that insisted on launching it when every fucking engineer associated with the launch told them otherwise. If they would have waited for everything to warm up, the Challenger would likely have had a normal launch.

          Likewise, had NASA management effectively killed engineering plans to deal with ice damage the Columbia disaster might well have been averted. Certainly, space flight is risky and the Shuttle overly complex and prone to breaking down, but the proximate

      • while the Soviets were able to build the most dependable rocket family in history with Soyuz?

        More dependable than anyone else - by about .2%, much celebrated by the clueless, irrelevant in the real world.

  • Propaganda much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cyn1c77 ( 928549 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @03:36AM (#49260071)

    Wow... Was the summary written by Putin? (Hello Mods: The author is even Russian!)

    There may be no current commercial need for the SLS, but you can bet that it will appear once the system launches successfully a few times.

    Also, I'm sure the US military and NASA will be excited to be able to launch heavier and heaver things into space and stop being reliant on Russian launch technology, especially with the Russians dusting off their 1950's era bombers to test NATO defenses.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @04:14AM (#49260143)

      There may be no current commercial need for the SLS, but you can bet that it will appear once the system launches successfully a few times.

      At a total cost of way over $1B per flight (unless it flies more than once or twice per year, which is highly unlikely), you can be sure that even the 130 mt version of SLS will be in much smaller demand than a $100M semi-reusable Falcon Heavy with a ~40 mt capacity, or even the expendable ~$150M, ~55 mt version.

      • I'm not sure exactly what commercial uses there are for really heavy launches. Comms and science do not need to be so large. Only thing I can think of is a space hotel, and that's not going to be commercially viable unless you can bring the human launch cost down far enough for the moderately rich to afford a holiday there, rather than just the obscenely rich. There aren't enough billionaires around to constitute a sufficient market.

        • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @07:16AM (#49260627)

          I'm not sure exactly what commercial uses there are for really heavy launches.

          Economy of scale? But that's only worthwhile as long as the heavier launcher won't hit low launch frequencies and unsustainable infrastructure costs. Which is definitely the problem that the SLS will hit.

          Comms and science do not need to be so large

          Circular logic. Right, they don't need to be so large because we've learned to make them smaller...and we've learned to make them smaller because we had no choice, large rockets were prohibitively expensive. But that doesn't mean that, e.g., science couldn't use more capable vehicles. Science can always use more capable vehicles. Missions could be much easier with them (or even possible in the first place), and a cheaper larger launcher could make even the mission itself cheaper (besides launch costs).

          Galileo would have gotten to Jupiter almost four years faster with Centaur-G instead of the less-capable solid stage it was forced to use. That meant extra four years of running (and paying) the mission team without results, and also four years less of hardware lifetime once the probe got to its destination. The Mars Science Laboratory wouldn't have had to use a working but convoluted and custom-designed landing system. In a few years, a payload of this size (or even somewhat larger) would simply use a "marsified" Dragon-derived lander with no parachute and just a longer segment of propulsive landing. It might weigh almost twice as much, but who cares?

          You could use serially manufactured components instead of custom designs if you weren't forced to shave every kilogram.

          • I should have clarified that I was limiting the discussion to commercial uses. Commercial science means things like weather monitoring and resource surveys - things you do in LEO. There's absolutely nothing beyond geostationary that pays for itsself - that's why those missions you mention all had to be paid for with someone's tax money.

            • Even commercial satellites in LEO, MEO or GEO could significantly benefit from a cheap heavy launcher: a, say, ten-fold decrease in launch costs would not only decrease launch costs themselves but it would also shift optimum spacecraft design mass to higher levels, which would mean either more capability per unit of mass (for example, larger communication satellites are more economical due to more transponders sharing the same bus), less constrained (conservative and heavier but cheaper) engineering, or bot
            • by Megane ( 129182 )

              And that's why it's a good thing that FH will be using the same parts as F9, only with a few struts added. Don't need heavy launches? Simply don't strut it together, and make three regular launches!

              But don't limit your thinking to what we do now with what we have now. Just like with oil reserves increasing as the price of oil goes up (due to cost of recovery), the things people will want to launch rockets for will increase as the cost of launches goes down. And likewise, as the cost of heavy launches comes

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      There may be no current commercial need for the SLS, but you can bet that it will appear once the system launches successfully a few times.

      The difference compared to the Apollo days is that now we have a lot of experience building modules and docking them in orbit to form the ISS. The biggest single piece we've sent up there so far is the S3/S4 truss at 16,183 kg. Falcon Heavy will do 53,000 kg. SLS will do up to 130,000 kg. The total launch mass of the ISS is 417,289 kg, so even with the SLS it's not enough to launch as big structures as we might like. Most plans for a human mission to Mars seem to involve many SLS launches to assemble a ship

      • My guess is that 53 tons dry weight is plenty. They only publish a standard cost these days not a full weight launch but it used to be $135m, let's say $150m and that we need 20 launches. For $3 billion you have your launch capability.

        Even the semi-reusable version ought to be even better for fuel in terms of $/kg for bulk transport. I think one could reasonably expect a 45+ tonne capability (15% payload decrease) for about $90M (say, -40% cost) - that's perhaps even conservative. Fuel flights also have the benefit of being largely risk-insensitive and fungible, thus being prime candidates for flying reused stages. If something goes wrong, you'll be sending another fuel flight from the payload queue soon anyway.

    • by khallow ( 566160 )

      There may be no current commercial need for the SLS, but you can bet that it will appear once the system launches successfully a few times.

      Even if that were really true (it weren't for the Space Shuttle, which got payloads by forcing everyone to launch on the Space Shuttle through to 1985 or so), you still have the problem that a few successful launches puts you somewhere past 2030. That's at least 15 years of fucking around.

      Also, I'm sure the US military and NASA will be excited to be able to launch heavier and heaver things into space and stop being reliant on Russian launch technology, especially with the Russians dusting off their 1950's era bombers to test NATO defenses.

      The SLS has to successful fly first. NASA's last success construction of a launch vehicle was the Space Shuttle Endeavor which was delivered to NASA on 1991 and first launched a year later. Since the Space Shuttle has been

  • ... Russia being in space. But given their conduct, I think they should have as limited capabilities as possible.

    Russia is out of control and entirely unrepentant. If they have fewer capabilities their frequently bat shit crazy leaders will have more limited aspirations.

    • Replace "Russia" with "humans" and I would agree with you.

      We're all assholes.

      • I do not hate my own species and I encourage any member of my species that does hate its own species to dig a hole in the ground, stand in it, and then blow their own brains out. That way whomever has the ignoble duty of dealing with your corpse can do so with a minimum of effort.

  • by Dereck1701 ( 1922824 ) on Sunday March 15, 2015 @10:14AM (#49261241)

    I have to agree with the summary, this could be a blessing in disguise for the Russians given the right future economic conditions. We're burning enough money here in the US just on DEVELOPMENT of SLS that we could launch the mass of a WWII aircraft carrier into orbit on commercial launchers in todays launch market let alone the economies of scale you would get if we tried to do so. And the "$500 Million" per launch claim that NASA is putting out is hysterical, It will probably cost at least $1.5 Billion per launch not including development. If our intention is to make space access more reasonable there simply is no good reason for a SHLV at this time, we can do everything and more with standard LV's and if we get enough yearly flights economies of scale and competition will kick in and help space access costs even more. SHLVs are currently only good for shoveling massive amounts of money into the bank accounts of a few well connected defense contractors.

  • For Russia's space industry, it appears that these budgetary pressures have been a blessing in disguise. Rather than waste billions on an inefficient rocket for which there is no commercial demand — as NASA is doing with SLS (under orders from a wasteful Congress)

    samzenpus is using this article to present his opinions as facts while completely ignoring the valid reasons for building the SLS. The SLS is not going to be used for launching communication satellites or taking tourists to space. SLS is not a commercial project but a scientific and exploratory project to enable mankind to escape low earth orbit while preserving the U.S. space launch capabilities.

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