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Old August 24 2013, 10:17 PM   #24
gturner
Admiral
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Europa moon Lander mission - science

Under NASA's current projection, each year they'd either launch a cargo payload or a crew. Since the Orion is just going to return to Earth, I won't count those as delivered payload, just like the dead-weight of the Space Shuttle Orbiter.

The Space Shuttle, when it wasn't grounded because of the numerous government design flaws, averaged 5.5 missions per year, carrying 22.7 tonnes of cargo. That comes to 124 tonnes of cargo per year delivered into orbit. The SLS, in its fully evolved configuration that's supposed to debut in 2032, and maintain one flight every other year, effectively delivers only 65 tonnes of cargo per year to LEO. That's only half as good as the Space Shuttle.

When it comes to crew, the Space Shuttle put an average of about 38 people into orbit every year. The Soyuz almost always puts up twelve people a year. The SLS is projected to average three people a year.

That's going backwards.
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