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The Commercial Case for an SLS-B

4 Mar 2018, 19:18 UTC
The Commercial Case for an SLS-B
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

by Marcel F. WilliamsThe Space Launch System (SLS) will only be truly successful as a government and commercial heavy lift vehicle if its utilized in a manner that takes full advantage-- of its inherent advantages. As a super heavy lift vehicle of the SLS should be capable of deploying 70 tonnes to 130 tonnes of payload to LEO (Low Earth Orbit). However, much simpler and cheaper SLS configurations could still deploy at least 20 tonnes to 50 tonnes to LEO. In this article, I'll refer to a simpler and cheaper version of the SLS-- as the SLS-B.The SLS-B would only consist of the SLS core vehicle plus the Exploratory Upper Stage (EUS). Five expendable RS-25 engines would be used for the SLS-B, one more than is utilized for the SLS heavy lift vehicle. And such a basic SLS configuration should be capable of deploying at least 20 tonnes of payload to LEO.Twenty tonnes of payload capability would, of course, make the SLS-B fully capable of launching a variety of crew modules into orbit such as: Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, Space X's Dragon, and possible future crewed spacecraft such as Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser. Such crew modules on top of the SLS-B ...

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