This Is the Rocket That Will Take Us to Mars (video)
Who said NASA is dead? The space agency has unveiled its new rocket design — the most powerful ever if we go ahead and build it — capable one day of dropping a human or two on Mars.
The Space Launch System is 3.5 to 6.5 times more powerful than rockets currently in use and NASA hopes to have it ready by 2017 — six years after retiring the space shuttle.
It was designed with deep space missions in mind — missions that might see Americans landing on a far off asteroid or the surface of the red planet. — PZS
Wait, before you go…
On top of the SLS, Nasa plans to put its Orion astronaut capsule, which is already in development.
The agency says the first launch should occur towards the end of 2017.
This will be an uncrewed test flight, and it is estimated the project will have cost $18bn (£11.4bn) by that stage.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig