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NASA's SLS project in jeopardy, as US voters and politicians grow weary of political issues

NASA retired the space shuttle fleet and faces mounting problems related to the 2010 NASA Authorization Bill alongside other budget issues that have angered politicians and citizens. 

U.S. lawmakers are growing more concerned that NASA administrators could have saved jobs and tax payer money as the mismanaged space launch system (SLS) helps usher the U.S. space program into a new era. 

NASA has been accused of stalling for the sake of trying to end the SLS program, with the U.S. space agency also conducting its own internal review of the SLS program. 

"Due to unjustified, sometimes substantial future cost savings, the team views each program estimate as optimistic," noted Booz Allen Hamilton, as the U.S. space agency continues to face pressure to move forward. 

Once completed, the SLS is expected to be a heavy launch vehicle able to enter low-Earth orbit (LEO). Specifically, the new SLS rocket would be powered by Ares I and space shuttle engines, though there has been added call for liquid-fueled strap-on boosters. 

The finished report was expected earlier in the month, but NASA said it still needs additional time before it can be released. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and several other senators don't believe a private sector competition to develop the future SLS will just lead to other future delays. 

NASA has about $1.78 billion set aside for the SLS program during fiscal 2011, but it ends on September 30. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee ranking Republican, claims NASA's problems with SLS have led to as many as 3,000 job losses since the shuttle program ended.

Senators are still unsure how to help NASA unify its Ares I and Ares V space vehicle plans, after the U.S. space agency ended the Constellation program. SpaceX, Boeing, and two other contractors are currently working on U.S. government-funded projects to develop new shuttle systems able to ferry astronauts and supplies into space. 

If there is so much money still up for grabs, representative states will make a strong push to keep NASA focused on short-term projects.  Until then, it'll be up to the Russians to help take NASA astronauts and supplies into space, though that costly alternative 
now faces its own problems.

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By thisisaname on 8/30/2011 5:23:01 PM , Rating: 1
NASA is the biggest waste of money in American history. There is no innovation, no push for the stars. They've lost their vision. I think they should be the first to go in a huge round of budget cuts.

RE: Meh
By Zingam on 8/31/2011 2:21:16 AM , Rating: 2

How about the US military? They do not protect US from enemies? US is like a shark in the ocean... they have no real enemies.

At the same time US is wasting billions for useless campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and all over the world. The US involvement in the last 30-40 years in that region has cause only the increase the danger of terrorism. (who was first to train/finance the mujaheddins/talibans/al-qaida and all their incarnations)?

Also US is constantly developing/ordering more and more weapons with doubtful usefulness to fight imaginary enemies.

At the same time the economy (the market economy) is wasting huge amount of money to develop/produce useless products (which results in wasted natural resources) and the worst of all most of the profits go into the hands of laywers/bankers who do not produce anything useful for the mankind.

I doubt that the humanity could go on like this for another 100 years.
Perhaps the only way to save humanity is to allow to spread itself into space. If we continue like that we'll exhaust our resources and humanity will fall back into another dark age.

I live in an ancient Roman city and when I look at the Roman excavations I see that they had stuff 2000 years ago that we were able to get again only in the last 50 years. Do we really want to stall back our development for a few more millennia because of stupidity and greed?

RE: Meh
By chiadog on 8/31/2011 11:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
US is like a shark in the ocean... they have no real enemies.

You're forgetting the Chinese. MMMM shark fin soup.

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