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Old August 14 2013, 10:14 PM   #4
Location: Kentucky
Re: Europa moon Lander mission - science

The SLS PDR was absolutely hilarious, whether intentional or not I can't say. Looking for major milestones, they were adding items like "Held a meeting with JPL to discuss the possibility of coordinating on future potential space science missions." Another was "Looked at manufacturer's data to find cryogenic ignitors that meet new government regulations." I would've phrased that last one as "Surfed the web all day, hitting commercial ignitor sites, while wondering how to milk this job for four more years." There was another bullet point about the breakthrough of one NASA center having a meeting with another one, one maybe having a launcher and one maybe developing a payload that might need launching.

The Wall Street Journal just ran an article slamming the SLS, with a projection of launch costs at $14 billion a flight and a flight rate of once every four years. At that price, seats will cost $2.3 billion each, and that's once the program is in full swing and the Orion is flying with a crew of six. If that flight rate was used during the Apollo program, from the first Saturn V test flight on, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt would still be in line, waiting to fly to the Taurus-Littrow Valley sometime in 2015 - instead of 1972.

In more optimistic space news, the grasshopper had another great flight.

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