Space Launch System

  • NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), has entered its critical design review phase, which will see the leviathan rocket given the go-ahead for full-scale construction. The review represents a major milestone that must be passed if the SLS is to make its intended maiden launch date.
  • NASA is planning to maximize the scientific potential of the maiden launch of its next generation launch vehicle, the Space Launch System, by selecting 11 tiny satellites to ride shotgun. The little probes, known as CubeSats, will be transported in the SLS's upper stage adaptor.
  • NASA has successfully completed the first of two tests designed to certify the massive solid fuel boosters which will form a part of NASA's next generation Space Launch System (SLS). Once completed, SLS will represent the most powerful launch vehicle ever constructed.
  • In 1965, a pair of gigantic crawlers were built to move the Saturn V moon rockets to the launch pad. Half a century later, they are still in service. To celebrate, the 6 million-lb Crawler-Transporter 2 (CT-2) made a less than one mph rollout for a visitor and media day.
  • NASA test fired the RS-25 engine that will power the SLS on Friday. The first of eight hot tests, it took place at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
  • It's been a busy year in space. In a mixture of triumph and tragedy, space exploration reached new horizons, tested new technologies, and pushed the limits of the possible in 2014. So as the old year draws to close, Gizmag looks back on the space highlights of the past twelve months.
  • It may not get the same attention as the Kennedy Space Center or the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Alabama, is responsible for developing much of the complex inner-workings of rockets, satellites, and future technologies.
  • NASA is asking for proposals to develop new technologies to send astronauts to the asteroids and Mars, using "sustainable, evolvable, multi-use space capabilities."
  • Russian scientists have proposed a novel way to accelerate a spaceship while in flight – firing a ground-based laser up its backside. The new technique uses a plasma flow caused by laser ablation to increase the exhaust efficiency of a traditional rocket propulsion system.
  • Progress is continuing apace as NASA readies its next-generation Orion spacecraft for her maiden flight, dubbed Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1), set to blast off Dec. 4 atop a Delta IV heavy launch vehicle.
  • NASA’s return to manned spaceflight took a couple of major steps forward this week with the completion of the Orion crew capsule and the attachment of it and the previously-completed service module to the adapter that will connect Orion to its rocket.
  • NASA’s most ambitious project since the 1960s, the Space Launch System (SLS), has received the green light to progress with the passing of a critical design review. The next generation heavy launch system is designed to lift the Orion spacecraft for manned missions into deep space.