NASA and Boeing will create a super-heavy rocket
NASA and Boeing have agreed on joint creation of the carrier rocket heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) for manned expeditions beyond low earth orbit and transport cargo. SLS is being developed instead of the carrier rocket Ares V, its first test flight is scheduled for 2017.
National aerospace Agency (NASA ) and the U.S. company Boeing have signed an agreement on the creation of the carrier rocket heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) capable to cargo and manned missions beyond low earth orbit. The price of the agreement amounted to $2.8 billion, according to the English portal RT .
According to the developers, who worked on the project for several years, the first version of the rocket will reach 100 meters in length and orbit nearly 22 tons of cargo. Its launch is planned in 2017.
Second, enhanced version of the SLS will have 20 meters long and its capacity will exceed 113 tons. The rocket should put into space manned spacecraft MPCV astronauts on Board, which is projected on the basis of the ship Orion. First flight is expected in 2021.
According to the newspaper Los Angeles Times, Boeing expects that SLS will participate in missions related to the exploration of the moon and Mars. “We are ready to go forward, this project can inspire gradeseparated,” he said in an interview with the Deputy head of the space programme and missile Boeing Frank McCall.
Work under the contract have been completed recently. The parties have completed the testing of the launch accelerator for SLS. It is assumed that the booster will be equipped with four engines on hydrogen fuel and two solid-fuel boosters a thrust of nearly 3.4 thousand tons.
Development of the SLS began in 2010, when the Obama administration has abandoned the space program “Constellation”, the purpose of which was to return Americans to the moon and exploration of Mars. Then the house of representatives has offered a compromise variant of the bill on the future of the program. He envisioned the creation of a new carrier rocket of superheavy class instead of Ares V, which was intended for launch of cargo and ensure the evacuation of the ship Orion on a trajectory to the moon.
Meanwhile, the project has already found critics who to call SLS a “Frankenstein rocket,” which allegedly will kill all future space program and NASA will destroy all of its scientific and technical initiatives.
However, if the SLS will be able to reach Mars, NASA will achieve the goals previously outlined the principal investigator Agency Ellen Stofan. According to her, the colonization of the red planet really is on the agenda of U.S. space science.