Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) Capable of Mars & Beyond

NASA’s own design.... Many people mistakenly think that when NASA ended the shuttle program NASA stopped dreaming of going back to space. Perhaps even thinking when NASA selected SpaceX and other partners to run the Cargo flights to the ISS that NASA’s days of exploding into the sky and into space ended…Well they don’t know NASA. NASA has been working on the SLS since before selecting its design in September 2011. The entire project foresees 1) the transformation of the Ares I & V vehicles into single launch vehicles that are capable of carrying crew &/or cargo, 2) the next step will be an even more powerful version that will take astronauts to near-Earth object such as asteroids, the moon, Mars, and beyond.

Actually NASA is doing better than that. The plan began with lower expectations, but once again NASA has outdone itself! Contemplating a visit to perhaps Pluto’s Charon or Saturn’s Enceledus or maybe even some private space stations. (One has already been proposed by Bigelow Aerospace) Having more lift capability than ever before conceived of (286,000 pound/130,000 kg launch capability) It’s payload capability is expected to be 38,846 cubic feet and the rocket itself has a diameter of 8.4 meters/25 feet.

NASA has the first launch set for 2017 but it will not have its full launch capacity until 2022. The time in between is seeing the outsourcing to American companies the ISS cargo trips and such so that they are able to apply their time and attention to the SLS (and the upgrade of the Colossal Crawlers to handle the much heavier system).

A final note: The science and savings that this will open NASA up to is tremendous! Not only will it save money by being able to tend to more tasks while up there, not only could it carry larger propulsion systems into space allowing us the ability to go further in space, or we could in fewer launches (maybe even in one launch!) bring up the pieces to assemble a spacecraft to go the distance.

In Sanacion: The Black Hole Mission we saw the ship the Sanacion built up on the moon. Perhaps the SLS was involved?

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