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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    2016-2017 Undergraduate Team Space Transportation Design Competition

    Exploration Mission Enabled by Space Launch System – Request for Proposal

    Printable PDF Version   


    Important Dates

    • Letter of Intent: 10 February 2017
    • Proposals due: 10 May 2017
    • Winners Announced: 10 June 2017


    The Space Launch System (SLS) is a powerful expendable launch vehicle in development by NASA with the primary purpose of enabling human space exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. When completed it will create new possibilities for large payloads (in terms of mass and volume), including robotic scientific missions to destinations like Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. The initial SLS vehicle configuration, called Block 1, has a 70-metric-ton lift capability. It will be powered by twin five-segment solid rocket boosters and four RS-25 liquid (LH2/LOX) rocket engines in the core stage and a modified version of an existing Delta IV upper stage. Block 1B is the next step in the SLS evolution. It will use a new, more powerful Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) with four RL10 liquid (LH2/LOX) rocket engines enabling a 105-metric-ton lift capacity. Currently proposed missions include trips to lunar orbit and an Asteroid Crewed Redirect Mission. The capabilities of the SLS for other deep space missions have been studied and published documentation can be used as a starting point for this project.

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