Coalition for Space Exploration Congratulates NASA on Completing Significant Milestone for Human Deep Space Exploration

August 28th, 2014

Washington, D.C., August 28, 2014 – The Coalition for Space Exploration congratulates NASA and its industry team for achieving approval for the development of the Space Launch System. This is the first exploration-class vehicle since the Space Shuttle to receive this status and it confirms NASA’s continued progress on the path to deep space.

At 70 metric tons, NASA’s Space Launch System is the world’s only launch vehicle that has the mass, volume and speed to deliver humans and cargo to deep space faster, safer and more affordably than any existing or proposed alternatives.

A team across 47 states is diligently working to maintain a schedule that keeps NASA on track to conduct a SLS flight test in late 2017 and send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. Most recently, the SLS core stage completed NASA’s Critical Design Review five months ahead of schedule. The SLS RS-25 main engines will complete a critical design review and begin hot fire testing this year, and the five-segment solid rocket boosters are nearing qualification, a milestone that usually occurs much later in a development program.

The Coalition is encouraged by the continued bi-partisan support for human space exploration in the form of above-the-line funding for one of our nation’s most important assets – a robust deep space program. This continued support has enabled NASA and the industry team to remain on schedule to deliver a revolutionary capability for the future of exploration.

About the Coalition for Space Exploration:

The Coalition for Space Exploration is a group of space industry businesses and advocacy groups that collaborates to ensure that the United States remains the leader in space, science and technology by reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the public and our nation’s leaders, and building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable strategic direction for space exploration.