Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NASA tries to find room for SLS in budget

NASA will store some rocket engines, slow work on others and study still more as it tries to fit the Space Launch System into a $3 billion annual budget for development. Early flights of the SLS will use surplus space shuttle main engines and, as side-mounted strap-ons, the five-segment solid-fuel motors developed for the terminated Ares I crew launch vehicle's first stage. The J-2X upper-stage engine will be slowed as managers try to maintain enough development momentum to avoid a costly stop and restart in engine development as the big new rocket evolves. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/24/11) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., is where space shuttle main engines were tested and where the J-2X is being assembled and tested. Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, is where portions of the SLS will be built.