Reusable rocket nasa also has constantly built their own rockets from the saturn v to the mars rover and the space launch system. However, for more than a decade, nasa has decommissioned all of its rockets. Ever since the space shuttle retired in 2011, nasas been paying russias soyuz rockets for rise, the international space station and in 2020 nasa gave this honor to spacex with a falcon 9 reusable rocket. However, this is only considered a temporary strategy for nasa to focus on building the sls rocket with nasa not launching its own rocket for a long time, its quite possible that sls may be nasas last in house rocket in todays episode, well cover some of the reasons Why nasa is phasing out rocket development and why sls could be the last rocket that nasa will produce before heading towards that make sure to subscribe to the channel and like the video to ensure we can continue being your one stop destination for spacex related developments? And if you have any ideas on what we should talk about in the upcoming episode leave a comment down below. So what is nasas ambition when building the sls rocket its been more than 50 years since nasas apollo spacecraft last landed on the moon, its been a very long time and nasa has always wanted to return to that journey. In 2010, the idea of building sls rockets was born. The rocket is taller than the statue of liberty pedestal and all and is the cornerstone of nasas astronaut ambitions.
The launch vehicle is central to the agencys artemis program to return humans to the lunar surface and later land them on mars. It was designed with the goal of creating the most powerful rocket ever made by nasa. Its first crewed mission is planned for 2023. That flight will be the first to lift astronauts beyond low earth orbit since 1972. Indeed, it will send astronauts farther into space than any human has gone before and yet far from being a bold statement about the future of human space flight, the space launch system rocket represents something else the past and the end. This is the last class of rocket that nasa is ever likely to build, so why might sls be the last rocket produced by nasa? Well first, the space launch system was born not on the drafting tables of engineers, but on the desks of senators in 2010. Congress legislated into existence, a launch vehicle for firing. Heavy objects to deep space. Members of congress had no particular design in mind, but they demanded that nasa rummage through crates of old space shuttle parts whenever possible to produce this thing and required that it launched by 2016. This makes nasa very dependent on congress and policy and nasa lacks freedom in its own planning. Indeed, the previous examples have demonstrated that in 2004 president george w bush made a commitment that much of the engineering that went into the space launch system and the orion capsule can be traced to that now cancelled program constellation in 2010, barack obama made his own declaration Asking nasa to use the rocket to journey to mars.
The hardware has since been absorbed by artemis. The nasa program started by the trump administration to land, the next man and first woman on the moon before heading to the red planet. But despite the lofty ambitions of so many presidents and governments, nasa also delayed its rocket launch. However, in any event, the space launch system is billions of dollars over budget and five years beyond its compulsory launch date. This is understandable, considering that nasas oldest spacecraft, the space shuttle, has been in production since the 1970s. Today, technology has made great strides itd, be foolish if nasa continued to apply technologies for more than 40 years ago in rocket production, so they need a huge investment to upgrade all their outdated technology. During the joint senate nasa presentation in september 2011, it was stated that the sls program had a projected development cost of 18 billion us through 2017, with 10 billion us for the sls rocket 6 billion us for the orion spacecraft and 2 billion us for upgrades to The launch pad and other facilities at kennedy space center – these costs and schedule were considered optimistic for nasa. An internal 2011 nasa document estimated the cost of the program through 2025 to total at least 41 billion u.s for four 95 ton launches one uncrewed pre crude. This cost is entirely possible when up to now nasa has not performed any launches with sls, but the cost from 2011 to 2021 had expended funding totaling 20.
905 us billion nominal dollars. This is the number excluding inflation, the setbacks and slow pace that have plagued the space launch system, stand in stark contrast to what else has happened in rocketry in the past decade, if youve logged onto the internet in the past five years, youve probably seen the spectacular Launches of rockets built by spacex, elon, musks, private aerospace, outfit has fired hundreds of satellites into space and even a tesla sports car. Its rocket boosters then return to earth and land elegantly upright for reuse. Therefore, nasa will have to come up with solutions to all these challenges, so whats their solution in order to cut a large part of the cost and time to focus on research and development. Nasa chose to work with many companies to develop the artemis program, as well as the sls rocket nasa prime contractors. Aerojet rocketdyne boeing jacobs, lockheed martin spacex and northrop grumman currently have over 3 800 suppliers contributing to artemis program with nasa investments. Additional u.s companies, including small businesses, are advancing technologies and systems needed for a sustained presence on the moon. Among them, nasa has signed a 4.6 billion us dollar contract with lockheed martin space systems company to build at least six orion spacecraft to carry astronauts to the moon. In addition, during the development of the sls rocket nasa also selected key contractors, including aerojet rocketdyne boeing and northrop grumman, nasa selected jacobs for the construction of exploration, ground systems, egs, which is adapting existing infrastructure and facilities to modernize nasas lunar spaceport at kennedy space center.
Additionally, last april, nasa awarded spacex 2.9 billion us to use starship to bring astronauts from lunar orbit to the surface of the moon. Partnering with the second party is also seen as a possible way to reduce government influence in space program approval decisions. This could be a new trend in the future that nasa is aiming to optimize for given missions, so it is highly unlikely that nasa will ever again rely on rockets that is built on its own. The space launch system is the end of the line whether the space launch system program ends next year or next decade. Unlike the end of the space shuttle or saturn v, it will not be the end of a chapter at the end of a book. Nasa will be out of the rocket business, but it will still carry out huge missions that will explore use and enable the development of space for human enterprise, advanced scientific knowledge and understanding of the earth. The solar system and the universe and use the environment of space. For research well, that concludes todays episode, as always thumbs up.