NASA image: America's next rocket

Jul 07, 2014
Credit: NASA

NASA's Space Launch System, or SLS, will be the most powerful rocket in history. The flexible, evolvable design of this advanced, heavy-lift launch vehicle will meet a variety of crew and cargo mission needs.

In addition to carrying the Orion spacecraft, SLS will transfer important cargo, equipment and science experiments to deep space, providing the nation with a safe, affordable and sustainable means to expand our reach in the . It will allow astronauts aboard Orion to explore multiple deep-space destinations including an asteroid and ultimately Mars.

The first configuration of the SLS launch vehicle will have a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. As the SLS is evolved, it will be the most powerful rocket ever built and provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system.

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

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User comments : 8

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Nanopod
3 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2014
I see they're still using the segmeted death sticks good for you!
drel
5 / 5 (4) Jul 07, 2014
Looks like the segmented boosters will only be for the SLS 70-metric-ton
Initial Configuration and the SLS 130-metric-ton Evolved Configuration will use new "Advanced Boosters".

"The SLS also will use solid rocket boosters for the initial development flights, while
industry will compete to design advanced boosters based on
performance requirements and affordability considerations"

"NASA is seeking strategies for liquid and solid advanced boosters that will reduce risks while enhancing affordability, improving reliability and meeting performance goals in preparation for a full and open design, development, test and evaluation advanced booster competition."

http://www.nasa.g...ster.pdf
JohanVDMeer
2.4 / 5 (7) Jul 07, 2014
I think the author of the article is using the word "evolved" in a very unfortunate context here.
Evolution is supposedly a process where there is zero forethought, design and development going on, just pure accidental naturalistic plodding.
SO when saying that this rocket system is going to evolve, I certainly hope that the author really meant to say " that as further design and development happens...." instead of the meaningless and directionless plodding from one disaster to another indicated by the word "evolved".
Uncle Ira
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 07, 2014
I think the author of the article is using the word "evolved" in a very unfortunate context here.
Evolution is supposedly a process where there is zero forethought, design and development going on, just pure accidental naturalistic plodding.
SO when saying that this rocket system is going to evolve, I certainly hope that the author really meant to say " that as further design and development happens...." instead of the meaningless and directionless plodding from one disaster to another indicated by the word "evolved".


Skippy if you would try the google dictionaries before you make the postum you wouldn't find out later that 3 or 2 minutes isn't enough time for you to change him so you don't look foolish.
dramamoose
5 / 5 (6) Jul 07, 2014
I think the author of the article is using the word "evolved" in a very unfortunate context here.
Evolution is supposedly a process where there is zero forethought, design and development going on, just pure accidental naturalistic plodding.
SO when saying that this rocket system is going to evolve, I certainly hope that the author really meant to say " that as further design and development happens...." instead of the meaningless and directionless plodding from one disaster to another indicated by the word "evolved".


Before you're gonna be a literary elitist, make sure you're right. The word predates the concept of evolution, and means to develop gradually. In this sense, the author is absolutely right, and you look like a nitwit.
Lex Talonis
1.5 / 5 (4) Jul 08, 2014
Well at least the Merikens used METRIC in an article for once.

And oddly enough, that looks like a Saturn 5 with a couple of shuttle boosters stuck on the side.

As to why the Merikens are not outfitting some high altitude version of a 747, and launching from that - I will never know.

Maybe they like cold O ring delights.
alfie_null
4.9 / 5 (7) Jul 08, 2014
As to why the Merikens are not outfitting some high altitude version of a 747, and launching from that - I will never know.

Maybe you could elaborate. How capable is a 747 of delivering a 70 metric ton payload to LEO? Bearing in mind a good portion of what the 747 must carry is the next-stage booster and its fuel. How scalable is the design, beyond a 70 metric ton payload?

Maybe they like cold O ring delights.

That was an expensive lesson that happened almost 30 years ago. But to generalize your inference, we shouldn't be flying anything, considering all the aviation accidents that have happened over the years.
tony_varadaraj
not rated yet Aug 28, 2014
"Maybe they like cold O ring delights.".

To be fair to NASA, it launched more than a hundred Space Shuttle Flights after the Challenger disaster without any (major?) SRB problems. And using a proven design with the risk retired long ago, IMHO, is much better than starting from scratch as it would save time and costs. In fact, I wish they had stuck with the Saturn boosters and incrementally improved upon them instead of re-inventing the wheel four decades later. It also looks like NASA has mitigated the danger to the astronauts arising from a SRB mishap by placing them above the booster stack rather than next to it as in the case of the shuttle, with an escape rocket to draw them out to safety.

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