The Space Launch System (SLS) — NASA’s far most powerful rocket ever will be launched with an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to a stable orbit beyond the Moon in 2018 —
The sls will also carry 13 tiny satellites to test innovative ideas.
so what is this SLS ??
- The Space Launch System (SLS) is an American Space Shuttle-derived heavy expendable launch vehicle being designed by NASA. It follows the cancellation of the Constellation program, and is to replace the retired Space Shuttle.
- The NASA Authorization envisions the transformation of the Constellation program’s Ares I and Ares V vehicle designs into a single launch vehicle usable for both crew and cargo, similar to the Ares IV.
- SLS Is the world’s most powerful rocket with about 20% more thrust than Saturn V and a comparable payload capacity.
- The core stage will be 8.4 meters (28 ft) in diameter and utilize four RS-25 engines. Initial flights will use modified RS-25D engines left over from the Space Shuttle program
- The stage’s structure consists of a modified Space Shuttle External Tank with the aft section adapted to accept the rocket’s Main Propulsion System (MPS) and the top converted to host an interstage structure.
- It is fabricated at the Michoud Assembly Facility.
Shuttle-derived solid rocket boosters
- Blocks 1 and 1B of the SLS will use two five-segment Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), which are based on the four-segment Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters.
- Modifications for the SLS included the addition of a center booster segment, new avionics, and new insulation which eliminates the Shuttle SRB’s asbestos and is 860 kg (1,900 lb) lighter. The five-segment SRBs provide approximately 25% more total impulse than the Shuttle SRB and will not be recovered after us
- . Development Motor 1 (DM-1) DM-2 , and DM-3.
- Advanced boosters
For Block 2, NASA plans to switch from Shuttle-derived five-segment SRBs to advanced boosters.
- Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage
- Exploration Upper Stage
Other upper stages
SLS’ first flight
Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1),is an experiment to reach deep space destinations, as most launch opportunities for CubeSats are limited to low-Earth orbit.
“The 13 CubeSats that will fly to deep space as secondary payloads aboard SLS on EM-1 showcase the intersection of science and technology, and advance our journey to Mars,the CubeSats will be deployed following Orion separation from the upper stage and once Orion is a safe distance away.” said NASA deputy administrator Dava Newman in a statement.
In this first flight, SLS will launch the Orion spacecraft to a stable orbit beyond the moon to demonstrate the integrated system performance of Orion and the SLS rocket prior to the first crewed flight.