Heavy-Lift Rocket Behind Schedule

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration cannot develop a heavy-lift rocket by the end of 2016 within the budget provided, the space agency told Congress this week. The blueprint specifying NASA’s mission for the next three years, which was signed into law by President Obama, called for the development of a rocket that was capable of lifting at least 70 tons into orbit and that was based on technologies from the space shuttle and the smaller, soon-to-be-canceled Ares I rocket. In response, leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which oversees NASA, reiterated that they expected NASA to find a way to fit a rocket design into the specified schedule and budget. In a letter sent to NASA on Thursday, two committee members, Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, wrote that the NASA blueprint “is not an optional, advisory document: it is the law.”

By KENNETH CHANG/NYT
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2 comments

  1. In its preliminary HLV report, NASA stated that it cannot develop a heavy-lift rocket by the end of 2016 within the budget provided. Does this indicate that NASA needs additional funding to develop a HL rocket by 2016?
    Does this indicate that NASA needs more time to develop a HL Rocket? Or, does it indicate that NASA can built a less costly, more efficient HL rocket using current technology within a reasonable budget and a reasonable timeframe?
    Or, does it indicate that NASA is not really interested in building a HL rocket for any budget amount and within any time frame?

    1. not sure…we are dealing with a legacy technical bureacracy…and American technical pride

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