Boeing

Space Launch System

Space Launch System

NASA’s Space Launch System provides a critical heavy-lift capability, powering people and cargo beyond our moon and into deep space.

Building the Future of Human Spaceflight Beyond Earth

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) provides a critical heavy-lift capability, powering people and cargo beyond our moon and into deep space. SLS launches larger payloads farther in our solar system, faster than ever before possible. It will be the most powerful rocket ever built, enabling diverse exploration, science and security missions. Boeing is the prime contractor for the design, development, test and production of the launch vehicle cryogenic stages, as well as development of the avionics suite.

Milestones

Technical Specifications

Length212 ft (64.6 m)
Diameter27.6 ft (8.4 m)
Empty Weight188,000 lbs (85,275 kg)
MaterialAluminum 2219
Engines4 RS-25
Thrust per Engine512,000 lbs (232,242 kg)
Max Power Level109% of rated thrust
FuelLiquid hydrogen
OxidizerLiquid oxygen

Feature Stories

The Path to Mars: Deep Space Mission

The Path to Mars: Deep Space Mission

December 4, 2014 in Innovation, Space

NASA is setting its eyes on the exploration of Mars, an over two year-long journey that will make history. Today's children will be the first explorers of our neighboring planet with help from Boeing technology to discover ground humans humans have yet to see.

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The Rocket Makers

The Rocket Makers

November 19, 2014 in Space

With cutting-edge technology, Boeing employees once again are helping build a mighty rocket.

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Space Launch System

38 Stories of Power

November 13, 2014 in Innovation, Space

With cutting-edge technology, Boeing employees once again are helping build a mighty rocket.

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Aerospace's largest tool unveiled

Aerospace's largest tool unveiled

September 22, 2014 in Space

Take a ride on the new Space Launch System built by Boeing and ignite your human spirit.

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Tanks for a great idea

Tanks for a great idea

March 18, 2014 in Space, Technology

Boeing has designed and built two composite liquid-hydrogen fuel tanks for heavy-lift launch vehicles that will propel future air and space missions.

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Boeing prepares to build the biggest rocket

Building the Biggest Rocket with the Biggest Tools

June 28, 2013 in Space

Boeing has designed and built two composite liquid-hydrogen fuel tanks for heavy-lift launch vehicles that will propel future air and space missions.

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Space Launch System Customer

NASA is Boeing's customer for the Space Launch System, the largest rocket ever built, which will take humans and crew well beyond low-Earth orbit and into the reaches of space.

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Space Launch System Quick Facts

  • Designed to be flexible and evolvable for crew or cargo missions
  • Safe, affordable and sustainable to advance America’s exploration of space
  • Two capabilities: 70 metric tons and 130 metric tons of payload capacity
  • The 130 metric tons of capacity would take 22 fully grown elephants into orbit.
  • The 70 metric ton configuration’s engine has 8.4 million pounds of thrust, equal to the horsepower produced in 160,000 Corvette engines, or 13,400 locomotive engines.
  • The 130 metric ton configuration’s engine has 9.2 million pounds of thrust, equal to the horsepower produced in 208,000 Corvette engines, or 17,400 locomotive engines.
  • Each solid rocket booster burns 5 tons of propellant per second.
  • The power generated from three RS-25 engines on the SLS equals the output of 12 Hoover Dams.