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- Hardware and software for the world's most powerful launch vehicle for exploration is being welded, assembled, and tested today in high bays, clean rooms and test stands across the United States. NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) continued to make significant progress in the past year, including firing tests of both main propulsion elements, manufacturing of flight hardware, and the program Critical Design Review (CDR). Developed with the goals of safety, affordability, and sustainability, SLS will deliver unmatched capability for human and robotic exploration. The initial Block 1 configuration will deliver more than 70 metric tons (t) (154,000 pounds) of payload to low Earth orbit (LEO). The evolved Block 2 design will deliver some 130 t (286,000 pounds) to LEO. Both designs offer enormous opportunity and flexibility for larger payloads, simplifying payload design as well as ground and on-orbit operations, shortening interplanetary transit times, and decreasing overall mission risk. Over the past year, every vehicle element has manufactured or tested hardware, including flight hardware for Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1). This paper will provide an overview of the progress made over the past year and provide a glimpse of upcoming milestones on the way to a 2018 launch readiness date.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20150021460.
International Astronautical Congress; 12-16 Oct. 2015; Jerusalem; Israel.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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