NASA peeved at Boeing for being way behind on giant rocket development

Boeing's Space Launch System under construction (Boenig Photo)

SEATTLE -- One arm of the federal government is giving Boeing $1 billion to build rockets, while another arm slams Boeing for delaying America's return to space.

Boeing is taking its sweet time developing a new giant rocket for NASA and the space agency is not happy. Boeing is two years behind schedule and billions over-budget on a massive new rocket designed to lift people and gear into deep space and eventually to Mars.

Bloomberg News says delays mean NASA will likely miss a December 2019 launch window for an important test launch. A NASA audit rates Boeing's performance as "poor."

At the same time, the Pentagon loves Boeing rockets. The Air Force is awarding $1 billion to the United Launch Alliance, a consortium that includes Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Blue Origin, the Kent Wash. space company founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

The contract calls for development of rockets to launch military satellites.

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