NASA has been playing down the true cost of its Boeing Artemis-1 moon rocket, a government watchdog says. The delayed project is majorly over budget, costing $800 million more than the $1 billion overrun NASA has admitted-to.

The Artemis Program aims to get humans to the Moon by 2024, with Artemis-1 the first stage of the mission, to send an uncrewed Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to orbit the Moon using a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

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But the SLS rocket contracted by Boeing is costing far more than NASA had planned, and far more than the additional cost of $1 billion the space agency has admitted-to, a new US Government Accountability Office report warns.

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The GAO says the billion figure is “understated,” and a more accurate number is $1.8 billion. It found that NASA “shifted some planned SLS scope to future missions but did not reduce the program’s cost baseline accordingly.” (RT)