Space Launch System
August 10, 2014

NASA’s Space Launch System Boosters Office Completes Critical Design Review

Kim Henry, Marshall Space Flight Center

As progress continues on NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), the solid rocket boosters team successfully completed its critical design review Aug. 6. This is an important milestone for the program, as it verifies the boosters are ready to move forward with qualification testing.

The two five-segment solid rocket boosters will provide the majority of the liftoff thrust for the SLS vehicle. As the SLS evolves, it will be used for deep space missions to destinations such as an asteroid and ultimately Mars.

"We continue to make great progress as demonstrated by this successful review and are proceeding towards the qualification testing of the booster," said Todd May, SLS Program manager. "Our program continues to move forward because of the people that believe in and are working aggressively to build this rocket."

More than 330 experts from various NASA centers and ATK of Brigham City, Utah -- prime contractor for the boosters -- were a part of the process that reviewed approximately 1,200 documents at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Marshall manages the SLS Program for the agency.

"This was an excellent and thorough review that confirmed our understanding of the design and will allow us to begin the process of confirming those attributes through verification and qualification testing," said Alex Priskos, SLS Boosters manager.

The first flight test of the SLS in 2017 will be configured for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. As the SLS evolves, it will be the most powerful rocket ever built and provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system.

For more information, visit the SLS website.