Gallery: SmallSats Hitch A Ride To Deep Space On The SLSDallas Brown and Irene Klotz August 24, 2022
NASA plans to use the superheavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) to send astronauts to the Moon, build an outpost in lunar orbit and fly other missions in deep space. But the booster—the most powerful to reach the launchpad since the Saturn V—also opens the door for deep-space exploration with cubesats.
Ten 6U cubesats, each about the size of a shoebox, will ride aboard the SLS, which is targeted to launch on Aug. 29. They are mounted on brackets inside the ring that connects the SLS upper stage with the Orion deep-space capsule and will be deployed after the Orion spacecraft separates. The tagalongs include three lunar orbiters, a lunar lander, three radiation probes, an asteroid scout and technology demonstrations.