This infographic labeled “SLS Block 1B Infographic” depicts the SLS (Space Launch System) in the Block 1B configuration that will be used beginning with Artemis 4. The left side of the graphic explains the difference between the Block 1 and Block 1B designs and shows a person standing next to the rocket showing the difference in size. On the top right side of the graphic, there is a graphic depicting the Lunar I-Hab. Below is a breakdown of the internal design of the SLS. It also details a few advantages this configuration of the rocket will have and discusses the capability of having two or more payloads launched by the same rocket.NASA/Kevin O’Brien NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket in the Block 1B cargo configuration will launch for the first time beginning with Artemis IV. This upgraded and more powerful SLS rocket will enable SLS to send over 38 metric tons (83,700 lbs.) to the Moon, including NASA’s Orion spacecraft and its crew, along with heavy payloads for more ambitious missions to deep space. While every SLS rocket retains the core stage, booster, and RS-25 engine designs, the Block 1B features a more powerful exploration upper stage with four RL10 engines for in-space propulsion and a new universal stage adapter for greater cargo capability and volume. 

As NASA and its Artemis partners aim to explore the Moon for scientific discovery and in preparation for future missions to Mars, the evolved Block 1B design of the SLS rocket will be key in launching Artemis astronauts, modules or other exploration spacecraft for long-term exploration, and key components of  Gateway lunar space station.

NASA’s SLS Rocket: Block 1 vs. Block 1B Configuration