NASA has selected the design of a new Space Launch System that will take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before, create high-quality jobs here at home, and provide the cornerstone for America’s future human space exploration efforts. The booster will be America’s most powerful since the Saturn V rocket that carried Apollo astronauts to the moon and will launch humans to places no one has gone before.
The SLS will carry human crews beyond low Earth orbit in the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The rocket will use a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen fuel system, where RS-25D/E engines will provide the core propulsion and the J-2X engine is planned for use in the upper stage.
Artist Concept of SLS on Launchpad
The Space Launch System, or SLS, will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments to Earth’s orbit and destinations beyond. Additionally, the SLS will serve as a back up for commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station.