One Launch of NASA’s Space Launch System will cost at least one billion dollars and only be possible once every two years. Space X falcon heavy cost, at most, 150 million dollars per launch. The Space X starship is in development , but even if it cost twice as much as Falcon Heavy, would still be WAY less expensive than SLS. For years commercial crew programs had money taken from them and given to Boeing supposedly as part of the private commercial crew program in order to prop up the SLS. Boeing's Space Launch System (SLS) is NASA’s SLS. If it wasn’t a 100% government project, then the president could not propose cancelation of any part of it. These facts are all part of the public record.
As I briefed @POTUS & @Cabinet today: with @NASA_SLS & @NASA_Orion leading the way back to the moon and with support of our commercial partners – the U.S. is keeping high skilled jobs & advancing us in the #NextFrontier. pic.twitter.com/vpaBykfIBV— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 8, 2018
There would be a possible private market for its capabilities as s super heavy launcher. It would not be built as a pork barrel project with development spread in as many congressional districts as possible.
In my humble opinion SLS’s fate was probably sealed as soon as Space X was able to put a maned capable capsule into space. The time may have come where the business of launching rockets needs to go to private entities and the government space programs should focus on military applications and very experimental vehicles using developing less mature more radical technologies. That is where government spending, without the need of profit, can make sense.
The Lie(s) of College
The big lie of college is that it matters which college you go to. This led to the smaller lies told by wealthy connected people to get their children into, “prestigious”, really name brand colleges. The truth is that for most areas of study the majority of what you learn at any college is standardized in order to facilitate being transferable. This is especially true between colleges in the same state. I am not the only one who thinks this.
In my home state of Illinois that is called the Illinois articulation initiative. All the two-year community colleges, most if not all the four-year colleges, and universities teach the exact same courses for the first two years. Indeed, most if not all the colleges teach mostly the same courses from the same books for the remainder of a bachelor’s degree. Most US states have a similar program. At the very least making sure that the colleges are accredited means they all meet the same basic standards.
A related lie is that going to a “better” college means “better” faculty. What exactly makes them better…what college they went to… which as shown above should not make a difference if every college meets the same standards. Their education, and the education they provide should all be essentially the same for the same degrees.
What is not a lie, for the most part, is that higher degrees make a difference. A PhD is more educated than an MS/MA holder and a BS/BA holder is more educated than a AS/AA holder. All people who hold the same degrees from accredited schools should have learned the same basic things.
In fact the higher up you go on that ladder the more it becomes about the graduate work of an individual student. A PhD in Physics from Harvard who did an easier project could in theory not be as good for your purposes as a PhD from Compass Direction Podunk State A and M (Hooterville Campus) who has a really demanding PhD Dissertation project. In all cases though a higher degree is rarer and guarantees some level of employment.
Maybe not being a fully tenured professor at a college or university in a location of your choice, but a secure job that will make you a living.
These lies are believed uncritically because the powerful benefit from them.
Updated to add.
This is really my fault for not mentioning that NASA wishes to use SLS to go to the Moon not Mars. For Mars missions a once every two year launch frequency is all that can be done. For the Moon there will be optimal positioning at least once a month if it makes a difference at all since the Moon orbits the Earth in a nearly perfect circle. The distance does not change much.
Apparently some people don't know that?
Youtuber Scott Manley has a good take on what options NASA has for Orion if SLS is finally cancelled.