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August 13-19, 2018 / Vol 37, No 33 / Hawai`i Island, USA

10 Aug 2018, 19:38 UTC
August 13-19, 2018 / Vol 37, No 33 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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SLS Mobile Launcher Rollout Test Scheduled Aug 16, Next Crucial Step for Exploration Missions

The NASA Crawler Transporter-2 (CT-2), carrying a modified Mobile Launcher (ML) which includes rocket stand and umbilical tower, is being prepared for a rollout test at launchpad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, Florida August 16. Success of this test could confirm or set back CT and ML capability standards to support the entire Space Launch System (SLS), including launch of Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) maiden flight, projected for June 2020s. EM-1 will debut with an uncrewed Orion spacecraft in Block 1 configuration containing an Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Upper Stage, two 5-segment Solid Rocket Boosters, and 4-engine liquid propellant Core Stage. Boosters and Core Stage could send Orion and Upper Stage into elliptical Earth orbit in ~8 minutes from liftoff. The rollout will test hardware, sensors, connections and leaks, structural responses, structural clearance, HVAC pressurization, Tower Fire Suppression, Flame Defector, and power ignition from launchpad 39B power supply. NASA plans for SLS to launch crews of up to 4 Astronauts on Orion spacecraft to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Block 1 configuration will stand ~98 meters tall, be able to carry a minimum of 70 metric tons of ...

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