referring to NASA is investigating the possibility of putting astronauts on the first launch of its most powerful rocket ever – the Space Launch System (SLS) – which would dramatically speed up its plans to get humans back to the Moon, and one day to Mars.
Before the announcement, crewed journeys on the SLS and its accompanying Orion capsule had been planned for 2021 at the earliest.
The Orion capsule intended for EM–1 doesn’t currently contain a working life support system, and the SLS rocket hasn’t been entirely graded for human launches.
EM–2 would see NASA astronauts actually land on the Moon’s surface for the first time since 1972.
The SLS’s ultimate purpose isn’t just to ferry us over to Earth’s satellite – it’s to get humans to Mars one day.
NASA just funded two new teams of researchers to form Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs) working toward that goal.
The two new teams are called the Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP) and the Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES).
Both products could have also applications on Earth: after all, we need light materials and efficient production cycles here, too.
Since spacecraft heading to Mars won’t be able to launch much weight, the CUBES researchers will have to make their final product as light as possible.
US-COMP will focus on creating new materials for vehicles, habitats, and whatever other structures astronauts will need on Mars.
Published on http://peekerscitech.com