"Exploration does have a number of components, including human, robotic and cargo components," said Karen Poniatowski, NASA's deputy associate administrator for launch services in the Space Operations office at the agency's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
"So expendable launch vehicles will clearly play roles."Lockheed Martin
is also developing a heavy-lift rocket, a variant of its the Atlas 5 developed under the EELV program.NASA officials will closely monitor the performance of both rockets as launch vehicle considerations in future missions.
"We look at them comparatively to determine what capabilities are being afforded the nation so we understand what we might need," Poniatowski