The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has just revealed the initial configuration of Block 1, which is the name given to the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The rocket is expected to come with four RS-25 engines as well as two solid rocket motors or boosters.
It is also said to be capable of producing 8.8 million pounds of thrusting upon launch and ascent.
Block 1 SLS Rocket to be Used on Upcoming Artemis Mission
The design of the Block 1 or the SLS rocket, was released on Twitter, which shows the positions for the booster, stage, engine, and other parts. The NASA SLS Twitter page also provided a link to the post by NASA tackling the Artemis mission.
According to the NASA post, the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft, which will be part of the upcoming Artemis mission, will be equipped different types of motors and engines.
A total of 55 engines and motors will be used between the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket during the first Artemis mission. This is so that it could be possible to propel Orion directly from the launch pad to go around the moon before heading back to our planet.
The initial configuration of the SLS rocket, called Block 1, will produce 8.8 million pounds of thrust during launch and ascent with the power of four RS-25 engines and two solid rocket motors, or boosters.
— NASA_SLS (@NASA_SLS) February 6, 2022
What is the Artemis I Mission?
NASA is hoping for the Artemis I mission is set to not just reach the moon, but to go beyond what any spacecraft built for humans has ever reached.
In addition, the space agency also notes that in order to prepare for the planned human expoloration of Mars, missions to the moon will be used as a stepping stone” first for that to actually be possible.
How Tall is Block 1 SLS Rocket?
NASA made sure to define both motor and engine as to avoid confusion. Per the space agency, devices that produce motion are generally considered motors. On the other hand, an engine is described to be a type of motor which produces motion without having to use moving parts.
Block 1, the initial configuration of the SLS, is planned to be used for the first three missions of NASA’s Artemis program. Block 1 is described to be a rocket that is taller than the Statue of Liberty, whose height is at 322 feet or over 98 meters.
Block 1 Action Plan for Orion’s Launch on Artemis I Mission
Block 1 is said to be capable of producing “8.8 million pounds of thrust during launch and ascent.” It is also said to weight around 5.75 million pounds.
In addition, the SLS will be utilize “power of four with an ignition motor that ignites the solid propellant.”
The boosters will reportedly separate from Block 1 and the its engines, specifically the RS-25, will be responsible for propelling Orion to orbit about two minutes into its flight.
The next step will be the release of fairings in order to expose the service module and fire up the jettison motor. This is needed the so that the launch abort system can separate from the rest of spacecraft.
Orion will no longer need the launch abort system at that point as it will be capable of safely aborting via the engines on the European Service Module. This will be provided by the European Space Agency or ESA.
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Written by Urian B.
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