Preliminary design review (PDR) for the next U.S. heavy-lift launch vehicle is underway and expected to be finished this summer, but work on the crew vehicle that is to ride atop it is lagging slightly. Engineers from NASA and its contractors on the Space Launch System (SLS) started PDR on the initial 70-metric-ton variant of the vehicle, conducting detailed reviews of the design concept. The project, mandated by Congress in the 2010 NASA authorization bill, is on track for a first flight in ...


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