Video: NASA releases new animation of super-heavy-lift SLS booster
While its first flight is two years away, that hasn’t stopped NASA from priming the pump of interest in the space agency’s new super-heavy-lift rocket—the Space Launch System (SLS). NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has released a new animation depicting what a launch of this new system might look like.
While companies like Boeing, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX are working to handle the responsibility of sending crews to low-Earth orbit (LEO), NASA has its eyes set on far more distant destinations, such as an asteroid and potentially Mars. Sending crews past LEO is something the agency has not attempted since the heady days of the Apollo program in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
SLS is currently scheduled to carry out its inaugural flight in late 2018. Exploration Mission 1, as this test flight is called, will be an uncrewed test flight of the SLS/Orion stack that should see Orion travel around the Moon—the first time a crew-rated spacecraft has done so in more than 40 years.
Video courtesy of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.