NASA requested $11.2 billion in the fiscal year 2024 president’s budget request to fund the SLS program through fiscal year 2028. This comes in addition to the $11.8 billion already spent developing the initial capability. All of this money is just for the Space Launch System rocket, the main launch vehicle for current and future Artemis missions. A recent audit however has found that these high prices are unaffordable even for the agency, and could have significant impacts down the line. NASA is currently in the process of manufacturing and testing SLS hardware for not only Artemis II, but Artemis III and beyond as well. Unfortunately, the audit found that each new core stage for example is costing the agency more than the previous. With NASA only just starting to return to the Moon after the recent success of Artemis I, they need to figure out a solution and fast. If the Space Launch System can’t continue to launch within the agency’s budget, they will need a system that can. Here I will go more in-depth into what the audit found, the true cost of SLS, its current production, and more.
Credit AI GRID