Bill Hill: New Mobile Launcher for NASA’s Future SLS Missions Could Cost $300M

Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA, has said the agency would need to spend approximately $300 million to construct a new mobile launch platform for future missions of the Space Launch System, Space News reported Friday.

Hill said Wednesday during the meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s human exploration and operations committee at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that a second mobile launcher could help the agency reduce the gap in launch schedule between Exploration Missions 1 and 2.

He noted the EM-1 launch would call for NASA to wait for more than 33 months before it can send EM-2 into space in order to carry out modifications to the existing launcher as the agency prepares to use the 13.4-meter-tall Exploration Upper Stage with the Block 1B rocket for EM-2 and future SLS missions.

The development of a new mobile launcher would also allow NASA to accommodate more launches for SLS between the two missions provided the agency would use the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage for such launches, Hill added.

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