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Old 05-12-2017, 02:28 PM
 
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First SLS launch now moved to "late 2019" and it will not be manned. At this rate, NASA will be able to launch humans in 2021. And with each SLS launch at a cool billion, those will be some expensive tickets.
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:22 PM
 
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Not much happening here?

On a more positive note, we have 2 companies about to beat the SLS/Orion behemoth for manned launch capacity: SpaceX and Boeing. Both hope to launch in 2018, but are more likely to have a manned launch in 2019, and that's not too shabby at all. Particularly if you look at value for money: $800M for resupply development - SpaceX w. Falcon/Dragon - was a steal. And 3.3B for crew - SpaceX w. Dragon V2 and Boeing w. Starliner.

At 4.1B, NASA will have 1 unmanned and 2 manned platforms. That's seriously cheap, and that's what you get if you unleash the companies and don't hamstring with requirements that every widget is made by a Congressman's nephew's company. The COTS program has so far been a huge success.

(For comparison, the very minor part of Constellation that was the ARES-I-X launch - a boiler plate 2nd stage and a boiler plate capsule bolted on top of an off-the-shelf Shuttle SRB that flew for 6 minutes and reached 150,000 feet - cost a cool $450M.)

Of course, if it became a matter of national security to get people into space, the Dragon is pressurized and climate-controlled. Bolt in a couple of jumpseats and ask for volunteers. I'd be very surprised if there isn't a contingency plan in drawer somewhere to do just that.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:55 PM
 
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You guys are no fun...
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