NASA Eyes Long-Term Production Contract for Boeing’s SLS Vehicles

Boeing and NASA have launched negotiations for a long-term contract that covers up to 10 core stages for the Space Launch System, Space News reported Wednesday.

Boeing, the prime contractor for the SLS effort, is currently slated to deliver the two initial SLS stages while NASA earmarked funding for the third vehicle ahead of the Artemis moon mission in 2024.

Jim Chilton, former Wash100 Award winner and senior vice president for space and launch at Boeing's defense, space and security segment, told the publication in a prior interview that he expects Boeing to have no problems with producing two SLS vehicles per year.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a 2019 Wash100 winner, noted that he expects the long-term agreement to potentially bring down costs for individual vehicles.

“We need to look at the price based on a negotiation between NASA and our prime contractor,” he said. “That negotiation, and how many we buy, ultimately will determine what that final cost will be per rocket.”

In September, NASA completed assembly operations for the SLS core stage’s five primary components. The agency, together with Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne, finished installing RS-25 engines to the core stage last month.

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