NASA is currently in the critical design review phase of its highly anticipated Space Launch System. In this phase, the project leaders will be going over all parts of the project from top to bottom. The leaders are all looking over every sheet of the vehicle’s design for any possible flaws. If all goes well in this stage of the process, the SLS will move into the manufacturing phase, and begin to cut and assemble parts together.
This new Space Launch System will make history in more ways than one
The Space Launch System is an extended space shuttle booster rocket that’s been in the works for years. It was first test fired in March of this year. NASA hopes that it will be fully ready for a launch in 2018. The project is both important and historic, since NASA hasn’t gotten this far with an exploration-type vehicle since 1977. The SLS will also be the largest rocket on Earth, taller than the Statue of Liberty, and feature the world’s most powerful engine, at 22 million horsepower.
The Space Launch System team hopes to be in deep space by 2018
The fast-approaching deadline of 2018, just two and a half years from now, should be even more of a historic landmark. A new design in deep space exploration vehicles that will help propel it into outer space is about as important as it gets in this field.
SLS is made of a mix of old and new parts
What’s set to be the world’s largest and most powerful rocket is actually not 100 percent new. It uses 23 parts from old shuttles, in addition to newly developed parts. The Space Launch System booster is made composed of five segments — one more than the number used on shuttles in the past. Along with four RS-25 engines, the boosters will propel a spacecraft with enough power to escape Earth’s gravitational pull in two minutes. The boosters themselves will provide three quarters of the lift. With this record-breaking rocket in the works, the Space Launch System’s proposed 2018 launch will certainly be a momentous event.