SPACE FLIGHT SYSTEMS RADIOISOTOPE POWER SYSTEMS PROGRAM OFFICE NATIONAL CENTER FOR SPACE EXPLORATION RESEARCH EXTERNAL PARTNERS EDUCATION/OUTREACH SPACE EXPLORATION BENEFITS PROGRAM SUPPORT IMAGE GALLERY



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Welcome to the Launch and Crewed Systems Office

As a sub-element of the GRC Orion Projects Office, the Launch and Crewed Systems Office manages the detailed design, development, verification and certification of the Lockheed Martin provided Service Module and Spacecraft Adapter.  Responsibilities include performing detailed engineering oversight and insight of the prime contractor’s Service Module and Spacecraft Adapter design and development activities; independent verification and validation tasks to validate the contractor’s design; and provide support to requirements development, technical and management reviews and boards, and verification of SM/SA subsystem hardware.

The Launch and Crewed Systems Office will develop the launch and spaceflight vehicles that will provide the initial capability for crewed exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). In particular, the Space Launch System (SLS) program will develop the heavy lift vehicle that will launch the crew vehicle, other modules and cargo for these missions. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.


    Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle

       • Spacecraft to serve as the primary crew vehicle for missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO)
       • Capable of conducting regular in-space operations (rendezvous, docking, extravehicular activity) in conjunction with payloads delivered by the Space Launch System for missions beyond LEO
       • Capability to be a backup system for International Space Station cargo and crew delivery


Space Launch System

The Space Launch System (SLS) will develop a heavy-lift launch vehicle to expand human presence to celestial destinations beyond low Earth orbit. This launch vehicle will be capable of lifting the Orion MPCV to asteroids, the moon, Lagrange points, and ultimately for missions to Mars. It will also serve as a backup launch system for supplying and supporting the International Space Station cargo and crew requirements not met by other available launch vehicles.

   • The Space Launch System will be evolvable, ultimately carrying 130 metric tons of crew and cargo to low Earth orbit.
   • SLS will use a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen fuel system using RS-25D/E (Space Shuttle) engines for the core stage and the J-2X engine for the upper stage.
   • The rocket's boosters will utilize Ares Project solids for the initial development flights, while follow-on boosters will be competed based on performance requirements.

Launch and Crewed Systems Office News