This will likely come as a surprise to no one who has watched the development of NASA's next giant rocket, the Space Launch System, but it's going to be expensive to use.

It is also an absurd amount of money, coming in at a whopping $58,000 per kilogram launched to low Earth orbit if the expected payload weights are to be believed. It would have the ability to launch single payloads that had never been done before.

NASA reached out to its commercial partners to help facilitate the design and construction of the SLS after it retired the Space Shuttle. The project cost has ballooned to over $23 billion with no end in sight.

YouTube recording of the House Subcommittee meeting where the Inspector General reported their findings.

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has a channel.

There is bound to be finger-pointing when an extensive, public federal program like this goes into trouble.

The obvious problem with such contracts is that they encourage the contractors to incur more expenses than they need to.

Boeing came in for particular criticism from Martin, who lambasted their technical and project management skills and noted they were still paid a handsome bonus for their incompetence.

Stacking SLS for Artemis 1.
Stacking SLS for Artemis 1.

Cory Huston is a NASA employee.

The SLS system has provided plenty of jobs in some critical districts for certain influential members of Congress, and if the project runs a bit over budget, it will support them.

The main stage is lost after launch, never to be recovered, because the SLS has a huge weakness that hikes its single launch cost up into the billions.

NASA has already realized that there is no way for SLS to compete with the launch cost goal of SpaceX.

Wondering why NASA is still working on the SLS? Here are some answers.

In a capitalist society, the resources go to the most effective and efficient use, as long as the government does not contractually mandate those uses.

You can learn more.

The cost for SLS launches has been revealed by the NASA auditor.

Finally, we know production costs for SLS and Orion, and they are wild.

The House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics has a chapter on keeping our sight on Mars.