NASA and the White House are taking their time to select the best reference design for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) that will be the next launcher of U.S. astronauts after the space shuttle, but the agency wants to use it as early as 2017 to launch a test flight of the multi-purpose crew vehicle (MPCV) already under development. Based on the Orion capsule developed under the now-terminated Constellation program at a cost of $5 billion to date, the MPCV is being optimized for ...


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