Mike Thomas at the Orlando Sentinel doesn’t think the SLS will ever fly. There will be delays and cost inflation, as usual. Since this is also true for JWST, he argues “in for a billion, in for a zillion” on the telescope and just cancel the rocket.
From The Orlando Sentinel-
A House spending committee wants to whack NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
It is the planned super-duper replacement for Hubble, which is an orbiting toilet-paper tube by comparison.
Astronomers say the Webb scope could pick up light waves from the very first stars. It would take us back 13.7 billion years — or 6,000 years if you’re in the Republican presidential primary — to when it all began.
So what are a few measly cost overruns compared with that?
We have a big decision to make: We can either go billions over budget on mismanaged science projects, or we can go billions over budget on even more mismanaged manned-spaceflight programs.
But we no longer can go billions over budget on both.
And so I choose the mismanaged science projects.
James Webb certainly qualifies. In typical fashion, NASA sold it by underestimating the cost and the launch date.
NASA understands that after dollars start flowing to aerospace contractors and congressional constituents, nobody will pull the plug. There may be shrill Government Accountability Office reports and perfunctory political showboating about costs, but the bucks must go on.
This is how we ended up with a space shuttle that cost $1.5 billion per launch…