On mid-March 2022, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) with the Orion spacecraft was first seen by the public on its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launcher will be subjected to a series of tests before its maiden flight in May 2022.
The Space Launch System is the new super heavy-lift rocket that will be in charge of taking humans back into the moon with the Artemis mission. The enormous rocket has a height of 98.3 m, a weight of 2,608 metric tons, capable of providing 39,144 kN of thrust thanks to their four liquid propellant engines and two five-segment solid rocket boosters.
The SLS was designed to bring back NASA’s human exploration programs, with the goal to be able to reach not only the Moon but also Mars and outer planes. The development was possible to the cutting-edge technologies that have been developed over the past years and the experience from other rocket missions, specially on oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, and manufacturing practices. This will allow the rocket to accommodate crew or cargo with human-rated launch capabilities.
The first flight of the SLS on the uncrewed Artemis I mission, will have the objective to tests all the rocket systems, Orion, and ground processing and launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center. All the testing done in orbit will help engineers to validate all the developed systems and improve their performance for the next mission. Also, during this mission to take advantage of the cargo space, the SLS will carry secondary payloads, such as CubeSats that will study earth and moon.
Are you interested in the development of the Artemis Mission and the SLS? Find out more here.