The powerful Space Launch System rocket.
NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, is an advanced launch vehicle that provides the foundation for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. With its unprecedented power and capabilities, SLS will launch crews of up to four astronauts in the agency’s Orion spacecraft on missions to explore multiple deep-space destinations.
SLS can carry both crew aboard Orion as well as other large cargoes needed to support human exploration, and still have room for exploration supplies and small and large scientific payloads. This capability can create unique opportunities for industry, educational, and international partners to access deep space like never before.
Offering more payload mass, volume capability and energy to speed missions through space than any current launch vehicle, SLS is designed to be flexible and evolvable and will open new possibilities for payloads, including robotic scientific missions to places like the Moon, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter.
The artist rendering pictured left shows the Orion spacecraft atop the SLS rocket stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center; pictured right. Core Stage production at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.