NASA Green-Lights Construction of World's Most Powerful Rocket

NASA Green-Lights Construction of World's Most Powerful Rocket

NASA Space Launch System Boeing 310x

The SLS rocket system will cost $7 billion to make, weigh 70 metric tons.

NASA has officially approved the construction of the Boeing-made Space Launch System, and the new platform will be the most powerful rocket in the world.

For those who want to see NASA return to the moon, or venture onward to Mars, this is the rocket that's going to make it happen.

"Our nation is embarked on an ambitious space exploration program, and we owe it to the American taxpayers to get it right," said NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot, "After rigorous review, we're committing today to a funding level and readiness date that will keep us on track to sending humans to Mars in the 2030s - and we're going to stand behind that commitment."

Construction was approved after the SLS platform passed through NASA's "Key Decision Point C" phase. This phase of scrutiny is responsible for developing a budget ($7.021 billion), and a calendar for an initial launch flight. That flight is to take place in or before November 2018.

Of the estimated $7 billion-plus budget, roughly $2.8 billion has been marked as the contract for Boeing, who is the primary contractor on the SLS project.

The SLS is only one piece of the moon and Mars puzzle, as NASA is also busy building out the Orion spacecraft (the capsule that will ride on top of the SLS rockets), and the ground support/launch systems necessary for both hardware platforms to work.

Source: NASA

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So any bets on how long till this is cancelled? I say 2 1/2 years just long enough for $10 billion to be spent in cost overruns.

youji itami:
So any bets on how long till this is cancelled? I say 2 1/2 years just long enough for $10 billion to be spent in cost overruns.

Quite possible. Weirdly it looks identical to my last Kerbal space program rocket.. one small step for a Kerbal and i hope there is more travel to Mars and less accidentally orbiting the sun

small:

youji itami:
So any bets on how long till this is cancelled? I say 2 1/2 years just long enough for $10 billion to be spent in cost overruns.

Quite possible. Weirdly it looks identical to my last Kerbal space program rocket.. one small step for a Kerbal and i hope there is more travel to Mars and less accidentally orbiting the sun

Where do you think NASA gets its ideas from these days? They watch twitch streams of Kerbal and take a vote on which one looks like it'll work. Hopefully they won't watch mine or else they won't remember to deploy their parachutes or put their astronauts back into the re-entry pod before descending out of orbit.

The SLS rocket, huh?

Jokes aside, I'm amazed the initial flight is scheduled for as early as 2018. I honestly didn't expect it so soon.

Vigormortis:
The SLS rocket, huh?

Good one, I thought the same thing when I read it.

OT: Well hope their funding doesn't get cut again before this is complete. I wanna see space stuff.

No amount of budget restrictions in the world will keep us from wanting to get off this shithole planet.

Vigormortis:
The SLS rocket, huh?

Jokes aside, I'm amazed the initial flight is scheduled for as early as 2018. I honestly didn't expect it so soon.

Well Russia has been swinging its orbital capable dick recently, I guess a new (if rather anemic and barely deserving of the name) cold war is enough to put the boot on the project.

Here's hoping Russia or ESA will aim for Mars as well, would be good to see another space race and best of all would be good if someone other than NASA got there first, after all in the last space race NASA lost almost every first achievement to Russia except the moon, it's no wonder they only mention their 'Victory'.

RicoADF:
Here's hoping Russia or ESA will aim for Mars as well, would be good to see another space race and best of all would be good if someone other than NASA got there first, after all in the last space race NASA lost almost every first achievement to Russia except the moon, it's no wonder they only mention their 'Victory'.

And putting a satellite in polar orbit, and sending anything to the outer 4 planets, and sending a probe to Mercury, and successfully orbited Mars and landed with a craft that had an operating time measured in something greater than minutes, and sending something to Pluto (not there yet but it will get there soon) and having a reuseable space craft, and orbital rendezvous and docking (2 different achievements) and having a reusable spacecraft.

And things they did that I can't think of off the top of my head. Ya if you discount all that they have done nothing that doesn't have to do with landing on the moon.

small:

youji itami:
So any bets on how long till this is cancelled? I say 2 1/2 years just long enough for $10 billion to be spent in cost overruns.

Quite possible. Weirdly it looks identical to my last Kerbal space program rocket.. one small step for a Kerbal and i hope there is more travel to Mars and less accidentally orbiting the sun

That is because the parts you used were modeled after the proposed NASA parts.

wswordsmen:

And putting a satellite in polar orbit, and sending anything to the outer 4 planets, and sending a probe to Mercury, and successfully landing on Mars, and sending something to Pluto (not there yet but it will get there soon) and having a reuseable space craft, and orbital rendezvous and docking (2 different achievemnts) and having a reusable spacecraft.

And things they did that I can't think of off the top of my head. Ya if you discount all that they have done nothing that doesn't have to do with landing on the moon.

I think you missed the part where I was talking about the space race, aka the race to the moon. The achievements to that goal were:
- First Satelite in space (Russia)
- First living being in space (Russia - Dog)
- First human in space (Russia)
- First impact on a foreign body (Russia - the moon)
- First photos of the other side of the moon (Russia)
- First planet flyby (Russia - Venus)
- First ship to ship contact (Russia)
- First woman and civilian in space (Russia)
- First space walk (Russia)
- First landing on a foreign body (Russia - the moon)
- First crew exchange in space (Russia)
- First human on the moon (USA)
- First space launch from a foreign body (USA - leaving the moon)
- First man to dance on the moon (USA - Pete Conrad)

Yes the US had some of their own firsts with communication satelites and human in space records, but as far as the space race to the moon Russia won the most victories, the US just landed first. Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Space_Race

RicoADF:

I think you missed the part where I was talking about the space race, aka the race to the moon. The achievements to that goal were:
- First Satelite in space (Russia)
- First living being in space (Russia - Dog)
- First human in space (Russia)
- First impact on a foreign body (Russia - the moon)
- First photos of the other side of the moon (Russia)
- First planet flyby (Russia - Venus)
- First ship to ship contact (Russia)
- First woman and civilian in space (Russia)
- First space walk (Russia)
- First landing on a foreign body (Russia - the moon)
- First crew exchange in space (Russia)
- First human on the moon (USA)
- First space launch from a foreign body (USA - leaving the moon)
- First man to dance on the moon (USA - Pete Conrad)

Yes the US had some of their own firsts with communication satelites and human in space records, but as far as the space race to the moon Russia won the most victories, the US just landed first. Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Space_Race

And you missed the part where you don't get to selectively choose what matters and what doesn't. If the Space Race was just to the moon (which it wasn't) you still missed first orbital rendezvous and docking. Plus lets see what you have that doesn't actual matter.

First Woman (ya because that was totally a step towards the moon)
First planet fly by (because planets are closer than the moon)
First Ship to ship contact (depending on definition this is either just wrong American's got that first with Gemini 6A and 7 or it is irrelevant.)
First Crew Exchange (it was through EVA, so for it to matter you have to give the US credit for first internal crew exchange.)

And lets not forget that Russia also got the first man to die in space.

wswordsmen:

And you missed the part where you don't get to selectively choose what matters and what doesn't. If the Space Race was just to the moon (which it wasn't) you still missed first orbital rendezvous and docking. Plus lets see what you have that doesn't actual matter.

First Woman (ya because that was totally a step towards the moon)
First planet fly by (because planets are closer than the moon)
First Ship to ship contact (depending on definition this is either just wrong American's got that first with Gemini 6A and 7 or it is irrelevant.)
First Crew Exchange (it was through EVA, so for it to matter you have to give the US credit for first internal crew exchange.)

And lets not forget that Russia also got the first man to die in space.

The race to the moon then, Kennedy even said it himself that there was a race to the moon. Actually as someone not from US or Russia I'd have more right to say what is and isn't important since I'm not invested with either side.

First Woman was in reference to the current gender equality debate we have today, I also balanced it out with the first man to dance on the moon which was equally irrelevant.
Planets may not be closer but the experience in navigation is extremly important if you want your astronauts to return (preferably alive).
Actually Gemini 6 and 7 had the first space rendezvous, they got close, they did not actually dock. However the US did get the first to dock with Gemini 8 and the ATV so I stand corrected there, that timeline lied to me :-P
Eh you could give credit to both as crew exchange even via EVA was a big achievement so I'd add that. I would also have to add:
- First human-crewed spaceflight to, and orbit of, another celestial object (USA - the Moon)

WOOOOO!!!!!! WE'RE GOING BACK TO SPACE BITCHES!!!!!!!! WOOOO!!!!!!!

Where did NASA find the money for this? Down the backs of Settees?

Quite possible. Weirdly it looks identical to my last Kerbal space program rocket..

Most likely because the SLS parts appear in KSP, the quad booster stage, the fuel tanks and the solid fuel boosters are all KSP representations of the parts NASA has just approved. The folks behind KSP did a crossover with NASA the result was the asteroid intercept update which also came with the SLS parts. Take a look in the KSP Parts folder, their is a subfolder called 'NASA'.

Probably worth mentioning that SpaceX plans to have their Mars Colonial Transporter ready by the mid-2020s. So the SLS will get to retain its crown of "World's Most Powerful Rocket" for a few years (at best) before it gets just flat-out obliterated in that regard.

And while the SLS is a disposable launch system, the MCT is intended to be largely reusable.

Please tell me I wasn't the only one to think of this when I heard the ship's capsule was called Orion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_%28nuclear_propulsion%29

I was most disappointed to find out that it wasn't.

 

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