NASA’s only plan to return astronauts to the moon after nearly 50 years just got slammed by an internal audit

illustration space launch system sls rocket launching clouds nasa msfc

  • NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is designed to be the world’s most powerful rocket — one able to take astronauts to the moon and Mars.
  • However, the $12.2-billion effort to develop and launch the first missions is running years behind schedule and faces major cost overruns.
  • On Wednesday, government auditors published a report highlighting problems with the work of NASA and Boeing, the biggest contractor for SLS.
  • The report flagged $64 million in extra fees awarded by NASA, slammed Boeing for “poor performance,” and questioned the “long-term sustainability” of the super-rocket program.

NASA is trying to build the world’s most powerful rocket, called the Space Launch System, or SLS.

The rocket program’s goal: send American astronauts back to the moon for the first time in nearly 50 years, then send people to Mars later on.

However, a new 44-page audit of the SLS program doesn’t bode well for the program.

The report, published Wednesday by NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), digs into some of the causes behind 2.5 years of delays and several billion dollars of projected cost overruns for the $12.2 billion SLS program.

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