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Aug 04 2015

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Universal Stage Adaptor RFI for SLS out on the street

USA set to adapt SLS for additional payloads. This will allow the SLS Block 1B to launch secondary payloads. It’ll likely only be used for Orion-configured SLS launches.

“(The USA is) a separable adapter which provides a structural interface between the EUS and Orion (that) can accommodate co-manifested payloads (significant mission elements such as habitats, communications satellites, in-space telescopes, etc.) and secondary payloads (cubesats or equivalent ‘small’ science or engineering experiments), and allows for the deployment of payloads from within the adapter,” noted the RFI documentation.

The article also does a good job of summarizing the differences between the different SLS variants:

Variant Year Lift Capacity Capabilities
Block 1 2018 70 mT Orion-only; no secondary payloads
Block 1B 2020s 105 mT Uses the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) for both crew and cargo missions, with the Universal Stage Adaptor (USA) for secondary payloads
Block 2 2030s 130 mT Requirement for Mars missions

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/08/04/universal-stage-adaptor-rfi-for-sls-out-on-the-street/

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