SLS Announcement Likely Coming Soon

Several articles have appeared over the last day covering the possibly imminent announcement of the final (finally!) configuration of the Space Launch System (SLS), which NASA has been studying since October 2010.

NASA Spaceflight is carrying an article about the SLS being a Shuttle derived vehicle. Managers Preparing For July 8 SLS Announcement After SD HLV Victory

Coverage of the SLS announcement also comes from Aviation Week & Space Technology.
NASA Will Compete Space Launch System Boosters

New Orleans City Business is reporting that Boeing is awaiting an announcement on SLS as it readies to hire at Michoud, where the Shuttle External Tank was made and where the new core booster of the SLS will be manufactured. Boeing Waits On Nasa Decision To Boost Michoud Work Force

Space News is reporting that the SLS would initially fly with Shuttle Derived 5 segment solid rocket motors (SRM’s), originally developed for the Ares I first-stage, while competition is underway for liquid side-mounted boosters. NASA’s Heavy-lift Launcher Would First Fly With Solid Rocket Boosters

From Space Policy Online comes news that on Tuesday (6/14) 7 Republican members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter to NASA Administrator Bolden demanding that NASA stop slow-rolling the SLS configuration. This mirrors frustration on the Senate side of NASA’s slow going on the SLS. Republican Lawmakers Criticize NASA’s Lack of Compliance with Law

One Comment

  1. My biggest worry is still that NASA wil take longer than they promised on the decision. Although I am encouraged that there is finslly some action, I have yet to see how they intend to comply with the law. If they truly intend to use existing shuttle contracts, why would they compete the boosters? This makes no sense to me. If they truly believe solids are bad, then why would NASA use a shuttle derived system? It seems that the quickest and most cost effective approach would be to use ATK’s boosters. Any other approach would be out of compliance with the NASA Aurhorization Act. It would be nice to see the people who put the shuttle into space be allowed to use years of expertise to build the next generation of rockets.

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