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Frontiers February 2014 Issue

exceed expectations, and they have been doing just that.” Last July, NASA announced completion of the Space Launch System’s preliminary design review, which is the first major milestone in moving from design to construction. “We achieved that milestone in just 21 months from the time the program was rolled out,” May said. “For a program this complex, that’s almost unprecedented. And the fact that Boeing completed its preliminary design review on the core stage five months ahead of the planned schedule gave us a real head start in moving on to critical design.” The core stage critical design review, the final step before manufacturing, is expected to take place in the summer of 2014. The first core stage is scheduled for delivery in 2016. The core stage—which is more than 200 feet (60 meters) tall and 27 feet (8 meters) wide—will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at very low temperatures. When the core stage is delivered to Kennedy Space Center, NASA will then attach the two solid rocket boosters, built by ATK, which are adapted from the solid rocket booster design used in the Space Shuttle program. The vehicle’s four PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Solar arrays and panels will be used to power spacecraft on deep space missions after launch by the Space Launch System. BRANDON LUONG/BOEING; PRODUCT GRAPHICS: JOSEPH NAUJOKAS/BOEING; SPACE PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK 24 Frontiers February 2014


Frontiers February 2014 Issue
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