Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NASA Announces Design For New Deep Space Exploration System |

Yes, that's the headline. In reality the "New Deep Space Exploration System" is just the same MPCV capsule and SLS heavy-lift launcher built mainly from Shuttle components. The elements required for actual deep space exploration are not included.  All that was really announced was the final configuration of the SLS, which after months of delay seems to be more or less what everyone thought it would be. The only difference I notice is that the booster rockets will be open for bidding, although it's likely SLS will initially use a 5-segment version of the Shuttle's SRB.

It's pretty obvious that the image of the SLS which was released carries a subliminal message intended to evoke NASA's glory days. The rocket is painted in the black and white manner of a Saturn V moon rocket, and a crescent moon is barely visible.

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