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NASA's Space Launch System: An Evolving Capability for ExplorationDesigned to meet the stringent requirements of human exploration missions into deep space and to Mars, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle represents a unique new launch capability opening new opportunities for mission design. NASA is working to identify new ways to use SLS to enable new missions or mission profiles. In its initial Block 1 configuration, capable of launching 70 metric tons (t) to low Earth orbit (LEO), SLS is capable of not only propelling the Orion crew vehicle into cislunar space, but also delivering small satellites to deep space destinations. The evolved configurations of SLS, including both the 105 t Block 1B and the 130 t Block 2, offer opportunities for launching co-manifested payloads and a new class of secondary payloads with the Orion crew vehicle, and also offer the capability to carry 8.4- or 10-m payload fairings, larger than any contemporary launch vehicle, delivering unmatched mass-lift capability, payload volume, and C3.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Creech, Stephen D.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Robinson, Kimberly F.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
June 3, 2016
Publication Date
May 2, 2016
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Space Propulsion 2016(Rome)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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