Issue Date: September 19, 2011
New Rocket Design Unveiled By NASA
NASA rolled out the design for its new Space Launch System last week. The plans were much anticipated by Congress and mark the start of NASA’s post-shuttle space exploration era. “President Obama challenged us to be bold and dream big, and that’s exactly what we are doing at NASA,” said Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. in a statement. The heavy-lift rocket will carry astronauts in an already-in-development capsule called the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The rocket will use a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen fuel system. In early flights, it will be capable of lifting 70–100 metric tons, with later lift capabilities hitting 130 metric tons, according to NASA. The design was originally expected by Congress at the beginning of the year, but was delayed as NASA reviewed several potential designs.
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