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IPFS News Link • Government Debt & Financing

SLS Project is an Out of Control Waste of Money

• by Brian Wang

NOTE: In recent SpaceX legal documents it has been confirmed that total spending for the Super Heavy Starship development, launch sites, mechazilla launch tower and factories is $3 billion. SpaceX will spend another $2 billion on Starship and launch facilities in 2023.

From fiscal years 2012 through 2025, NASA's overall Artemis investment is projected to reach $93 billion, of which the SLS Program costs represent $23.8 billion spent through 2022. For SLS launches, NASA entered into two booster contracts with Northrop Grumman and two RS-25 engine contracts with Aerojet Rocketdyne. The four contracts, performance periods, and values are: Boosters—April 2006 to December 2023, $4.4 billion; Booster Production and Operations Contract (BPOC)—June 2020 to December 2031, $3.2 billion; Adaptation (RS-25 engines)— June 2006 to September 2020, $2.1 billion; and RS-25 Restart and Production—November 2015 to September 2029, $3.6 billion.

Given the enormous cost of the Artemis campaign, NASA is exploring ways to make the SLS—which requires two boosters and four RS-25 engines per launch—more affordable by moving towards a fixed-price contract.

Auditors question $19.8 million in award fees for the 11 unfinished engines which were subsequently moved to the RS-25 Restart and Production contract and may now be eligible to receive additional award fees.