Megalextoria
Retro computing and gaming, sci-fi books, tv and movies and other geeky stuff.

Home » General Discussion » Space » NASA's Huge New SLS Rocket Could Power Missions Far Beyond Mars
Show: Today's Messages :: Show Polls :: Message Navigator
E-mail to friend 
Switch to threaded view of this topic Create a new topic Submit Reply
NASA's Huge New SLS Rocket Could Power Missions Far Beyond Mars [message #21680] Wed, 31 October 2012 09:44 Go to next message
CyberkNight is currently offline  CyberkNight
Messages: 1499
Registered: July 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
NASA is contemplating space journeys far beyond a near-Earth asteroid, the moon or Mars for its new heavy-lift rocket in development. The Space Launch System (SLS), as it is called, could instead visit the moon of Pluto or return samples from other outer planets.

An unmanned flyby mission to Pluto's Charon, sample return missions to Jupiter's moon Europa or Saturn's Titan, or a sample-gathering flight through Jupiter's atmosphere or the ice water jets of Saturn's Enceladus -- all are said to be possible with the 286,000-pound (130,000 kilograms) launch capabilities of the Space Launch System.

The first launch of SLS is planned for 2017, but it will not have an upper stage and will be able to put only 154,000 pounds (70,000 kg) into low-Earth orbit. Beginning in 2022, however, the rocket is expected to have more powerful boosters and an upper stage to give it an ability to deliver 286,000 pounds to Earth orbit.

Such large cargos will be transported under a nose-cone fairing that will have a diameter of about 30 feet (10 meters), giving the Space Launch System a useful payload volume of about 38,846 cubic feet (1,100 cubic meters). The rocket itself has a diameter of about 25 feet (8.4 meters).

Science possibilities

It is this combination of a very large lift capability and nose-cone volume that is expected to enable ambitious missions such as sample return from the outer planets.

"Most of the science community hasn't thought beyond current lift capability. Scientists haven't thought about what mass and volume they need to use," Kenneth Bruce Morris, a Booz Allen Hamilton senior associate, said at the 63rd annual International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy, on Oct 5. Morris' presentation was co-authored with the Marshall Space Flight Center. Before joining Booz Allen Hamilton, Morris was NASA's lead for Ares V utilization planning under the now-canceled Constellation program.

Because of the SLS payload capability, future science spacecraft will be able to carry large propulsion systems and more fuel, enabling them to reduce their mission time and carry more instruments. To reach the outer planets, previous spacecraft have had to make multiple gravity-assist maneuvers around the inner planets to reach the velocity needed, costing valuable time. The SLS could increase mission time by years, since its larger propulsion systems would enable more direct trajectories.

Another advantage of SLS is the potential to reduce the number of separate launches complex missions will require. For example, with existing boosters, an outer planet sample mission would require many launches to assemble the spacecraft. With SLS, however, the mission could be achieved with fewer launches, or even just one, reducing complexity.

Full article: http://www.space.com/18275-nasa-sls-rocket-potential-mission s.html


Re: NASA's Huge New SLS Rocket Could Power Missions Far Beyond Mars [message #21681 is a reply to message #21680] Wed, 31 October 2012 09:46 Go to previous message
CyberkNight is currently offline  CyberkNight
Messages: 1499
Registered: July 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Or course the real challenge will be funding such missions...

  Switch to threaded view of this topic Create a new topic Submit Reply
Previous Topic: VOYAGER 1 DETECTS WEIRDNESS AT SOLAR SYSTEM EDGE
Next Topic: Voyager 1 Spacecraft Enters New Realm at Solar System's Edge
Goto Forum:
  

-=] Back to Top [=-
[ Syndicate this forum (XML) ] [ RSS ] [ PDF ]

Current Time: Thu Aug 24 06:30:43 EDT 2017

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.01057 seconds