John Shannon: Boeing Explores Design Options to Boost SLS Upper Stage Performance

John Shannon

NASA has directed Boeing to identify approaches to increase the performance and payload capacity of a key structure for the Space Launch System, Space News reported Friday.

The company will work to modify SLS’s Exploration Upper Stage to carry an additional one or two tons of co-manifested payload such as NASA’s proposed Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, which will serve as a refueling and servicing outpost on the moon’s surface.

John Shannon, vice president and program manager for SLS at Boeing, told reporters last week the company is exploring new design opportunities for the EUS in support of Gateway development efforts and crewed missions to the moon.

The modification plans come after NASA pushed back the launch of the upper stage from 2020 to 2024, which indicates that SLS would continue to operate using the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage from United Launch Alliance.

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