Engineers developing NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) for future deep-space human exploration missions are polling the worldwide launch industry for an existing upper stage they can use to propel the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle (MPCV) on two test flights around the Moon. Tight budgets are driving the SLS program to use existing upper-stage hardware for the first two flight tests, set for 2017 and 2021. The relatively low performance requirements for the missions mean ...

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