Space Launch System
The Space Launch System (SLS) is a NASA rocket. It is a heavy-lift launch vehicle. It is the most powerful rocket ever built. The SLS is a replacement for the retired Space Shuttle. Many parts are modified versions of parts designed for the Space Shuttle. Others are new designs.
Types[change | change source]
The Space Launch System comes in many different types meant to launch different kinds of missions.
Block 1A[change | change source]
The least powerful kind of the SLS is the Block 1A. The core stage will use the parts of the Space Shuttle External Tank. It will also use four Space Shuttle Main Engines. The rocket boosters are connected to the sides are the 5-segment Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters. The top stage will use is the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS).
Block 1B[change | change source]
Block 1B is like the Block 1A, but the top stage will change with Exploration Upper Stage (EUS).
Block 2[change | change source]
Block 2 is like Block 1B, but the 5-segment SRBs will be changed with advanced boosters.
Payload mass in different orbits[change | change source]
|SLS variant||Payload mass to … (kilogram)|
|low Earth orbit (160-2,000 km)||trans-lunar injection (400,000 km)||heliocentric orbit (more than 695,700 km)|
|Block 1A||95,000 kg||26,000 kg||4,000 kg|
|Block 1B||105,000 kg||37,000 kg||15,000 kg|
|Block 2||130,000 kg||67,000 kg||45,000 kg|
Missions[change | change source]
The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand.
|Exploration Mission 1||Block 1A Crew||N/A||June 2020||Planned||25.5 days||Distant retrograde lunar orbit||Send Orion spacecraft to fly around the Moon, send 13 CubeSats.|||
|Exploration Mission 2||Block 1A Crew||4 people||January 2023||Planned||9 days||Lunar flyby||Similar to EM-1 but crewed.|||
|Europa Clipper||Block 1A Cargo||N/A||2023||Planned||6 years||Jovian orbit||Flagship-class robotic spacecraft to meet Europa|
|Exploration Mission 3||Block 1B Crew||4 people||2024||Planned||30 days||L2 Southern Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO)||Send European System Providing Refuelling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications (ESPRIT), the U.S. Utilization Module to LOP-G|
|Exploration Mission 4||Block 1B Crew||4 people||2025||Planned||26-42 days||L2 Southern NRHO||Send International Partner Habitat to LOP-G|
|Exploration Mission 5||Block 1B Crew||4 people||2026||Planned||26-42 days||L2 Southern NRHO||Send U.S. Habitat to LOP-G|
|Exploration Mission 6||Block 1B Crew||4 people||2026||Planned||26-42 days||L2 Southern NRHO||Send airlock module to LOP-G|
|Exploration Mission 7||Block 1B Cargo||N/A||2027||Planned||L2 Southern NRHO||Send Deep Space Transport (DST) vehicle to LOP-G|
|Exploration Mission 8||Block 1B Crew||4 people||2027||Planned||191–221 days||L2 Southern NRHO||LOP-G checkout|
|Exploration Mission 9||Block 1B Cargo||N/A||2028||Planned||L2 Southern NRHO||LOP-G Cargo logistics and refueling|
|Exploration Mission 10||Block 2 Crew||4 people||2029||Planned||1 year||L2 Southern NRHO||LOP-G long-time test (Shakedown cruise, 300–400 days)|
|Exploration Mission 11||Block 2 Cargo||N/A||2030+||Planned||L2 Southern NRHO||LOP-G Cargo logistics and refueling|
|Exploration Mission 12||Block 2 Crew||4 people||2030+||Planned||2 years||Mars orbit||Interplanetary flight|
|Exploration Mission 2||Block 1B Crew||4 people||Late 2022||Payload will be launched in commercial launcher||16-26 days||Lunar halo orbit||Send Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) as the first module of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G).|
|2026||Cancelled||Lunar orbit||Send astronauts to send back samples from a captured asteroid|
|Exploration Mission 6||Block 1B Crew||4 people||2024||Payload will be launched in commercial launcher||26-42 days||L2 Southern NRHO||First logistics module supply mission and send the robotic arm to LOP-G.|
References[change | change source]
- "NASA unveils super rocket", BBC Focus Magazine, Bristol Magazines (235), p. 17, November 2011
- "NASA unveils mega rocket", How it Works, Imagine Publishing (26), pp. 6–7, 2011-10-06
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