Report from NASA Inspector General States SLS Lunar Rocket Over Budget and Lacks Schedule

According to the latest audit, NASA is still having concerns working on the development of its upcoming big rocket. The report is one of the newly-arrived records from the inspector general of NASA. Notably, the document has warned regarding the budget and scheduling challenges with the rocket for the past few years. Currently, Boeing is developing the most powerful rocket, SLS, or Space Launch System for Artemis lunar mission of NASA. The aerospace vehicle manufacturer is using Northrop Grumman’s solid-propellant boosters and Aerojet Rocketdyne’s main engines. Well, the giant rocket will have a price of over $18 billion by the date it launches its first flight next year. The American Space Agency’s Office of Inspector General has confirmed the news on Tuesday.

Through the SLS, NASA also aims to return humans on the lunar surface by 2024, and ferry the first woman on the Moon. Once accomplished, the Space Launch System will be the most powerful space vehicle worldwide. It will have the potential to carry more than 200,000 pounds of payload into Earth’s low orbit. Apart from this, NASA intends to ferry people atop the SLS. At the time, it would send the people to dock with a little station neighboring the Moon. After that, they will move downwards to the lunar surface using a lander.

As the SLS is significant for NASA to achieve lunar ambitions, the inspector general has had done a thorough assessment of the agreements for all of the key elements of the rocket. The effort includes three government service providers – Northrop Grumman, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Boeing. Notably, all three companies have experienced technical issues and setbacks. The failure has contributed to a rise of $2 billion costs along with a delay of up to two years. The report highlights that the entire SLS mission has exceeded the budget and delayed by over 33%. The document also states that the value is likely to rise to 43%, as more schedule interruptions take place.