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Boeing and NASA sign SLS contract as core stage passes CDR
Posted: Thu, Jul 3, 2014, 1:56 PM ET (1756 GMT)
Space Launch System (SLS) illustration (NASA) NASA and Boeing signed a $2.8-billion contract to develop the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket as that stage passed its critical design review (CDR) this week. The contract confirms NASA's earlier selection of Boeing to develop the core stage, and also directs Boeing to begin studies of a new Exploration Upper Stage that may be used on future SLS missions. The contract finalization comes at the end of a month-long CDR for the core stage, confirming the design and clearing the way for full production to begin. SLS, featuring the core stage and two solid-propellant boosters provided by ATK, will initially be able to place up to 70 metric tons into low Earth orbit, with upgrades increasing that capacity to 130 metric tons. The first SLS launch, of an uncrewed Orion spacecraft, is scheduled for late 2017.
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