NASA Announces Design for New Deep Space Exploration System
Finally, a Shuttle successor plan that is technically plausible and makes sense! Very refreshing.
Interestingly, this fits the same general role as the older Ares V concept, and with (realistically speaking) a similar time frame. Wisely eliminating the unworkable, money-pit Ares I may be this administration's greatest legacy to NASA.
Possibility of 150+ tons to orbit... including the Orion capsule with its full complement of 6 astronauts, plus additional capability since Orion doesn't weigh nearly that much... For comparison, the Shuttle could carry only 1/6 that amount of cargo due to its own weight and configuration.
There's a CGI animation of the liftoff, and I think the smoke-effect is the best I've seen outside of Hollywood. Someone spent some time on that.
From WashPost: NASA plans rocket bigger than Apollo’s Saturn V to send humans far past moon