Aug 1, 2018

Work begins on rocket engines for SLS flights a decade from now

Posted by in category: space travel

Long lead time

This timeline represents quite a long lead-up for the engines and the fifth flight. Nominally, NASA now plans to make the first SLS launch in June 2020, although that date may slip into 2021 or later if further technical or hardware problems arise with the new rocket. Eventually, NASA wants to get to a cadence of one flight every year of the rocket, but that is unlikely to happen right away. Therefore, the fifth flight of the SLS rocket is unlikely before the second half of the 2020s.

There is also some question as to whether the rocket will actually make multiple flights. By the mid-2020s, Blue Origin’s large New Glenn booster should be flying. Additionally, SpaceX’s larger Big Falcon Rocket may also have begun making test flights by then. Both of these boosters would offer NASA significant lift with privately developed, reusable rockets at a fraction of the cost of the SLS rocket.

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