SLS Enabling Capabilities for Exploration and Cislunar Security
With the successful launch of Artemis I and the planned launch of crew to the Moon in 2024, the SLS promises to provide a reliable heavy-lift capability to deep space. After the first three flights, the next phase in its evolution will be introduced with the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) providing a combination of C3 and mass delivered that is unmatched a single launch by any vehicle. This matters because now, for the first time in more than 50 years, we are embarking on missions that will send people and machines far beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and we are planning to build infrastructure that will enable a sustainable campaign of missions that will extend from the Moon to Mars and beyond. This means more mass delivered over greater distances. Equally important, we need to provide space situational awareness (SSA) and precision navigation and timing (PNT) functions to these spacecraft. This means setting up entirely new constellations of satellites in Cislunar orbit. As we develop the scientific outposts and lunar resource facilities, we will need to be able to understand and protect the environment around them. There are many possibilities for how this can be accomplished with the SLS including flying co-manifested payload of up to 10 mT with Orion flights or by flying up to 42 mT in a dedicated cargo launch. This panel will discuss the technologies that each of their companies brings to the system and the various ways in which SLS can facilitate expanding our domain of operations beyond Earth orbit. Proposed panelists would include representatives from: The Boeing Company, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Northrop Grumman, and Maxar.