Will Space Launch System (SSL) Be The Rocket Of The Future?

When the space shuttle program ended earlier this year, lots of people wondered what would replace it. Well, here it is. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently unveiled its new rocket design, which will someday launch Americans into space. It would be the most powerful rocket ever built, and unlike the space shuttle, […]
When the space shuttle program ended earlier this year, lots of people wondered what would replace it. Well, here it is. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently unveiled its new rocket design, which will someday launch Americans into space. It would be the most powerful rocket ever built, and unlike the space shuttle, which stayed in Earth’s orbit, this megarocket will aim for much farther destinations. Called the Space Launch System, or SLS for short, the rocket will make its first flight, without astronauts aboard, in 2017. Manned flight won’t happen until 2021. That’s a long way off, but it’s an exciting glimpse of the future. Here are some of the rocket’s most eye-popping facts and figures! Height:320 feet. The space shuttle was 184 feet on the launchpad. Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle: Holds four astronauts. Solid rocket boosters: In two minutes, produce as much energy as it would take to power to 92,000 homes for a full day. Launch Abort System: Can launch the crew vehicle away from the rocket in case of an emergency. Destination: Possible targets include the moon, an asteroid, Mars or one of Mars’s moons. Top speed at liftoff: 25,000 miles per hour. Liftoff weight: 5.5 million pounds. That’s more than seven fully loaded 747 jets. Power: As much as 13,400 locomotive engines. Launch point: Cape Canaveral, Florida. Engines: Uses so much fuel that its engines would drain a family swimming pool filled with fuel in just 25 seconds. Payload: In manned flight, with crew vehicle attached, can carry 154,000 pounds into orbit. That’s as much as 12 adult male Asian elephants! Read more here.


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