NASA to launch world's most powerful rocket on maiden voyage to Mars in 2018
NASA is set to launch the world's most powerful rocket, which has been designed to carry humans to Mars, in 2018.
NASA's deep-space rocket, the Space Launch System, designed to ferry humans to Mars, is the agency's first heavy-lift launch vehicle in over 40 years, Cnet reported.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that they are on a journey of scientific and human exploration that leads to Mars and are firmly committed to building the launch vehicle and other supporting systems that will take us on that journey.
The SLS will carry the Orion spacecraft, which in turn will carry the Mars explorers and for its first test flight, the SLS will be configured with a 70-metric-ton lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion craft beyond low-Earth orbit and the final version of the rocket is slated for a lift capacity of 130 metric tons, which will enable missions to destinations as far as Mars.
The Orion spacecraft is scheduled for an uncrewed test flight of its own on December 4 of this year, attached to a Delta IV Heavy rocket. This flight, Exploration Test Flight 1, will test several of the Orion's key systems, including avionics, heat shielding and parachutes.
The first of the three SLS rockets is projected to cost 7.021 billion dollars, and the entire project around 12 billion dollars.
(Posted on 28-08-2014)