As its 2018 maiden flight edges closer, NASA has provided further details on what exactly the Space Launch System (SLS) will be carrying deep into space. The agency has today revealed 13 CubeSats in total will be loaded onto the most powerful rocket it has ever built, some of which will be deployed to inspect asteroids, while others will gather data on the Moon.
The first of three planned configurations of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), known as Block 1, has completed and passed the final Critical Design Review (CDR). This is the fourth and final review focusing on the concept and design of NASA's first man-rated launcher since the Space Shuttle and paves the way for full-scale fabrication of the first exploration-class rocket since the Saturn V and the most powerful rocket ever built.
NASA's Orion spacecraft
has overcome its latest hurdle on the road to becoming human-rated,
with the completion of a technical and programmatic review (TPR).
Once finished, Orion will be the first spacecraft designed to allow
astronauts to operate beyond Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) since the Apollo
program. Eventually, NASA envisions using the capsule as a key
component in the planned asteroid redirect mission, and the ongoing
endeavor to one day put a man on Mars.
NASA is another step closer to manned deep-space missions with the completion of the latest round of RS-25 rocket engine tests. Based on the engines that sent the Space Shuttle into orbit, the new power plants will form the core of the Space Launch System (SLS).
NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) has completed its critical design review – a major stepping stone on the way to becoming certified for manned spaceflight. Once complete, the SLS will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever constructed, capable of taking humans to hitherto unreachable destinations including a manned mission Mars.
NASA's imaginatively-named Space Launch System (SLS), has entered its critical design
review phase, which will see the leviathan rocket given the go-ahead
for full-scale construction. The review represents a major milestone
that must be passed with flying colors if the SLS is to make its
intended maiden launch date, which is currently slated for 2017.