Space Launch System

  • NASA has powered up the core stage of its SLS rocket, completing an eight-minute hot-fire test of its four RS025 engines. The core stage is the largest rocket element ever built by NASA and is designed to carry astronauts to the Moon and beyond.
  • Space exploration in 2021 will see some major milestones to look forward to. From maiden flights to fiery endings, long-awaited launches to history-making first steps, here are some of the biggest upcoming events in space exploration this year.
  • The first of NASA's SLS deep space exploration rockets is on the move, rolling out of the space agency's Michoud Assembly Facility recently. The Boeing-built SLS Core Stage was put on the Pegasus barge to make its voyage to the Stennis Space Center.
  • Engineers have mated the fourth and final Space Shuttle-era engine to the core stage of NASA’s first Space Launch System Moon rocket. NASA hopes to use the super heavy launch vehicle to return astronauts to the Moon before striking out for Mars.
  • NASA has integrated the first RS-25 engine with the core stage of its upcoming super heavy Moon rocket – the Space Launch System (SLS). The engines are refurbished units that were built to power the now defunct Space Shuttle program.
  • NASA has carried out another dramatic test of the emergency escape system for its upcoming Space Launch System (SLS). The Launch Abort System (LAS) sits at the very top of the rocket, and is tasked with forcefully pulling the crew out of harm’s way in the event of a life-threatening situation.
  • ​Back in June, the world’s largest plane emerged from its hangar for the first time. Now the team has crossed another milestone by completing the first round of engine testing, continuing the groundwork needed to get the beast into the air in 2019.
  • The world's largest plane has just rolled out of its giant hangar for the first time. The Stratolaunch aircraft, which boasts a wingspan greater than a football field, is designed to carry rockets into the stratosphere, where they are released before continuing on into space​.
  • With mighty aspirations comes a need for mighty rockets. That was theme of the "Heavy Lift" panel that took the stage at the 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado today and New Atlas was on hand to find out more about space telescopes, the Blue Moon project and the "tyranny of the fairing."
  • NASA today revealed 13 CubeSats in total will be loaded onto the most powerful rocket it has ever built, some of which will be deployed to inspect asteroids, while others will gather data on the Moon.
  • The first of three configurations of NASA's SLS, known as Block 1, has completed and passed the final Critical Design Review. This is the final review focusing on the concept and design of NASA's first man-rated launcher since the Space Shuttle and paves the way for its full-scale fabrication.
  • NASA's Orion spacecraft has overcome its latest hurdle on the road to becoming human-rated, with the completion of a technical and programmatic review (TPR). Once finished, it will be the first spacecraft designed to allow astronauts to operate beyond Low-Earth Orbit since the Apollo program.