Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of
articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The
Space Launch System, or SLS, is a Shuttle-Derived heavy launch
vehicle being designed by NASA, following the cancellation of the
Constellation Program, to replace the Space Shuttle after its
retirement. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 envisions the
transformation of the Ares I and Ares V vehicle designs into a
single launch vehicle usable for both crew and cargo. It is to be
upgraded over time with more powerful versions. The initial
capability of the core elements, without an upper stage, should be
for between 70 tons and 100 tons into LEO in preparation for
transit for missions beyond low-Earth orbit. With the addition of
integrated upper Earth departure stage the total lift capability of
the Space Launch System should be 130 tons or more. It is expected
to be operational by 2016.
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