After a historic first mission, what does the future hold for this controversial rocket?

After a historic first mission, what does the future hold for this controversial rocket?

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Key Facts

  • NASA gave SpaceX a significant role in 2021, giving the company a fixed-price contract for use of its Mars rocket as the vehicle that will ferry astronauts to the lunar surface after they leave Earth and travel to the moon’s orbit on SLS.
  • (Bridenstine noted he was also publicly critical of delayed projects led by SpaceX and others.) NASA continued to stand by Boeing and the SLS rocket even as it became a political hot potato, with some in Congress both criticizing its costs and refusing to abandon the program.
  • From there, SLS will be the backbone of the Artemis III mission that will return humans to the lunar surface for the first time in five decades and a series of increasingly complex missions as NASA works to create its permanent lunar outpost.
  • Shannon, the Boeing SLS program manager, told CNN that construction of the next two SLS rocket cores is well underway, with the booster for Artemis II on track to be finished in April — more than a year before the mission is scheduled to take off.

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