Meet the most powerful space rocket EVER!

By admin
13 June 2016

Meet the Space Launch System, the most powerful space rocket on Earth!

NASA’s SLS rocket and Orion capsule will fly us all the way to Mars.

A picture of the SLS soaring through the sky LEFT: NASA's most powerful rocket ever: the Space Launch System (SLS). RIGHT: The Orion capsule. PHOTO: NASA

While you’re reading this article, engineers at NASA (the American space agency) are hard at work building the largest, most powerful rocket in the world at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The mighty SLS – which stands for Space Launch System – will be able to send people and cargo to places where no human has gone before.

A capsule called Orion, similar to the Apollo moon capsule but twice its size, will sit on top of the SLS. In 2014 Orion was launched into deep space by a Delta IV rocket and travelled to a height of 5 794 km above Earth (further than any craft has flown in more than 40 years) to test its safety systems. Orion’s next test mission will be atop the SLS in 2018 when it will fly into a moon orbit to test the integrated system.

And after that there will be no stopping this impressive vehicle, which is set to fly astronauts into the orbit of the moon in 2025 to work on a captured asteroid boulder and then a few years later it will be off to Mars!

A picture of the Orion capsule The Orion capsule. Illustration: Anton Vermeulen, YOU Infographics

The SLS is the most powerful rocket since Saturn V that sent astronauts to the moon.

Picture comparing Apollos, SLS, Big Ben and Statue of Liberty accordng to size To the left is the Apollo rocket that sent astronauts to the moon, to the right is the SLS. Ilustration: Anton Vermeulen, YOU Infographics The first SLS is expected to do a test flight in 2018. In the meantime, you can watch this animation of an SLS lift-off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOZ00J-0jhY

Speaking of space . . . 

If you enjoyed the article above, you'll love YOU’s brand-new publication, Gateway to Space! It costs R45 and you'll find it in shops, or you can pick it up for R40 a the Gateway To Space exhibition (see below).

It’s packed with interesting facts and stories such as awesome rockets and spacecraft, glam astronauts (and animanauts!), and even how to go about becoming an astronaut.

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