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World's most powerful rocket still on track

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The Space Launch System (SLS) is set to enable new missions to the Red Planet and beyond.

NASA has released a progress report detailing the development and goals of what will be the world's most powerful rocket, an interplanetary behemoth capable of lifting 70 metric tons in to low-Earth orbit, a payload three times greater than what the space shuttles had been able to carry.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...powerful-rocket

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Dang. That's one serious rocket.

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Dang. That's one serious rocket.

70 tonnes to LEO is only the baby (Block I) version. The Block 1A version, due to enter service in 2022, will be able to lift 105 tonnes to LEO. The Block II version, due to enter service no sooner than 2030, will be able to loft 130 tonnes to LEO.

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I really wish things move quicker in the space program... so far away still! Good thing there's SpaceX's Falcon Heavy to look forward to in 2014/2015 :)

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NASA has really falling behinds but they are catching up

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From what I read the SLS is going to be the US's primary lift system when it is completed. I sure hope it does not get cut like the Constellation System (Ares1) did. Though it appears the SLS is based off the Ares V work that was being done already.

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70 tonnes to LEO is only the baby (Block I) version. The Block 1A version, due to enter service in 2022, will be able to lift 105 tonnes to LEO. The Block II version, due to enter service no sooner than 2030, will be able to loft 130 tonnes to LEO.

What encourages me most here, in addition of course to the improved capacity, is the long-term approach that appears to be being taken. Good people need to be confident in making NASA their careers, not whim to political change.

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From what I read the SLS is going to be the US's primary lift system when it is completed.

For very large, NASA payloads, possibly.

For manned missions it will not be the primary launcher. It is envisaged that there will be around one Orion/SLS launch per year to deep space. The majority of NASA's manned missions (until at least 2024) will be to the ISS and for that they will use one of the three vehicles competing for the Commercial Crew Program contract; either Boeing CST-100 or the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser (both using Atlsa V launchers) or SpaceX's Dragon Rider using the Falcon 9.

For smaller, commercial payloads it will still be between United Launch Alliance's Atlas & Delta vehicles and SpaceX's Falcon 9 (plus all the non-US competitors obviously).

I sure hope it does not get cut like the Constellation System (Ares1) did. Though it appears the SLS is based off the Ares V work that was being done already.

The SLS is unlikely to get cut as it was Congress that told NASA to build it.

The dual launcher approach of Constellation was always controversial. Even within NASA there were engineers petitioning to drop the tactic in favour of a single, Saturn-V type launcher that was unofficially called the Ares IV.

The SLS is very similar to the Ares IV idea.

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