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Actually, defense contractors haven't designed any new rockets and found themselves dependent on a Russian design (which were arguably better).

They contractually had the option to build their own derivative but punted and then found themselves with a Senate banning future imports. Now they want $5B to design a new rocket, or maybe use Bezos' design.

The SLS is nothing more than a patched up space shuttle launch system with a capsule on top. Except that it will cost a lot more to launch. Not much new ground there.




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