This past Wednesday NASA unveiled the design of the next generation of heavy launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS). It’s design bears an uncanny resemblance to Saturn V, the Apollo launch vehicle that took Buzz, Neil and the rest of the gang to the moon.
The Space Launch System is the first exploration-class vehicle since Saturn V. Incorporating technological advancements from the Space Shuttle and Constellation program, SLS would be the most powerful rocket in history giving NASA the potential to explore deeper into space. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) that will house the future crew venturing into solar system resembles the Apollo Command/Service Module [CSM]. The beefier Orion will be able to house a larger crew for a more extended period of time.
The Space Launch System harkens back to the golden age of space exploration- where anything was possible. A time when human exploration beyond the lower earth orbit was a national goal. Space was the place and humans needed to be there. It’ll be exciting to see the development of the Space Launch System in the upcoming years (fingers crossed). With a possible lift capacity of 130 tons or more, SLS is a beast. If developed, who knows how far we can travel.