Meet NASAs new rocket the Space Launch System SLS

posted Feb 19, 2015, 7:29 PM by squadron-101 admin
From wikipedia

The Space Launch System (SLS) is a United States 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 Act of 2010 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.

The SLS launch vehicle is to be upgraded over time with more powerful versions. Its initial Block I version is to lift a payload of 70 metric tons to low Earth orbit (LEO), which will be increased with the debut of Block IB and the Exploration Upper Stage.[6] Block II will replace the initial Shuttle-derived boosters with advanced boosters and is planned to have a LEO capability of more than 130 metric tons to meet the congressional requirement;[7] this would make the SLS the most capable heavy lift vehicle ever built.[8][9]

These upgrades will allow the SLS to lift astronauts and hardware to various beyond-LEO destinations: on a circumlunar trajectory as part of Exploration Mission 1 with Block I, to a near-Earth asteroid in Exploration Mission 2 with Block IB, and to Mars with Block II. The SLS will launch the Orion Crew and Service Module and may support trips to the International Space Station if necessary. SLS will use the ground operations and launch facilities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida.