A space revolution is coming.
Leading the way is a fleet of next-generation rockets that are bigger and more powerful than most rockets before them, and capable of taking us where no human has ever gone before: To asteroids, Mars, and beyond.
Some of these rockets include SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy and the European Space Agency’s Ariane 6, both of which are now under construction. But neither of these compare to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which will be the most powerful rocket in history if it’s fully funded to fruition.
This beast of a rocket will stand 322 feet tall, generate 12% more thrust than NASA’s Saturn V rocket, and ferry four astronauts at a time to deep-space on board NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
We can’t see SLS fly just yet because NASA is still building and testing its many components, such as its two solid rocket boosters (shown in the image above as the two parts attached to either side of the main rocket in the center), each of which will weigh roughly 1.3 million pounds.
To curb our excitement, NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center just released a video on June 9 of what it will look like when SLS finally does blast off for the first time. The first uncrewed test flight of SLS is scheduled for as early as November 2018.
When the rocket launches, the boosters will do most of the initial work, generating 3.5 million pounds of thrust, which will heat them from the inside to 5,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Here’s the SLS lifting off at NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida:
NASA estimates that each launch of the SLS will cost at least $US500 million.
Check out the full video below:
NOW WATCH: Watch NASA launch its giant flying saucer
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
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