NASA budget proposal announces changes to the space launch system


The proposed 2020 budget by the White House is out and leads to cuts in NASA. The most important point to note in the proposed budget is a delay in the space launch system, the SLS, a very heavy launcher designed for single use. The proposed delay would delay work on the upgraded version of the SLS, Block 1B with Upper Stage exploration.

Current plans for the space launch system include a flight using NASA's Orion probe in June 2020 for a flight around the moon. This unarmed flight, Exploration Mission 1 or EM-1, would use the SLS Block 1 Crew. A subsequent flight, EM-2, would fly a crewed Orion capsule around the moon in 2022. A third flight proposed in 2023 would send the Europa Clipper to Jupiter. The proposed budget for 2020 puts these flights at risk.

The cuts proposed to NASA for the 2020 budget would delay the construction of the Intermediate Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) to focus on the much larger, higher stage of exploration. ICPS is a derivative of the upper stage of the Delta III and Delta IV rockets. The upper stage of exploration will be much larger, which will allow the entire aircraft to increase to 105 tons in low Earth orbit or 37 tons to the Moon.

The reasoning that can be drawn from NASA's proposed budget suggests that the reductions in ICPS are intended to move the agenda forward and to ensure that the SLS does what it does. do better a lot sooner. Although the Block I SLS outperforms the Falcon Heavy, it remains significantly less than the upgraded SLA Block 1B. The Falcon Heavy is capable of lifting 50 tons in low Earth orbit, as is the New Glenn from Blue Origin, unflagged and untested. Only the Saturn V could carry more vehicles into orbit, with a maximum payload in low Earth orbit greater than 140 tonnes.

The cancellation of space launch block 1B involves a number of missions, including the delivery of the European Fuel, Infrastructure and Telecommunications System (ESPRIT) and the Use of Space Module. United States to LOP-G. a space station in a strange orbit looks as a very eccentric polar orbit around the moon. The launch is currently scheduled for 2024 with Exploration Mission 3, a mission to send four astronauts to the moon to build the Moon Bridge. Other missions using Block 1B SLS follow: One to two month missions from 2025 to 2028 will build the Lunar Bridge, culminating in the fact that four crew members will be deployed for the mission for one mission. more than six months.

The goal of the space launch system is to build the machine that will carry humans and a lot of payload on the moon and beyond. With the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy, the development of the new Glenn from Blue Origin and the planned launch of the Ariane 6 for 2020, the market for heavy launchers is saturated. The budget proposed by the White House still supports the construction of the Lunar Gateway, but these modules, "would be launched on competitively-purchased vehicles, thus completing crew transport flights on the SLS and Orion."

Although the White House budget provides for many cuts in the exploration of space, there is no guarantee that this budget will be adopted; this budget is only a proposal to Congress that must adopt its own budget for the government. The space launch system itself is well supported by Congress and has been rightly called the Senate Launching System in the past. This is part of the organizational structure of NASA dating back to 1958. It remains to be seen whether the intermediate cryogenic propulsion phase will take place on the SLS, but in both cases we will return to the Moon. this payload will be delivered by the space launch system.

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