NASA announces Space Launch System

Roamy here. The buzz has been going on for months – a heavy-lift vehicle based on Space Shuttle hardware and what was in the works for the Ares V. Space Launch System was announced today with some nifty animation.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPgPyq8EonE&w=560&h=345]

Things I like – this vehicle is tailorable to lift between 70 and 130 metric tons. That would fit the bill for a number of space exploration scenarios. I can see what I’d be working on – the J-2X engine, heatshielding at the base, etc. Things I don’t like – the first launch in 2017? Can’t we build a little faster than that?