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IMAGES: NASA's new rocket that will change space travel

Last updated on: September 20, 2011 08:37 IST

NASA's new rocket that will change space travel

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NASA has announced the design of a new Space Launch System that will take the agency's astronauts farther into space than ever before.

It will also create high-quality jobs and provide the cornerstone for America's future human space exploration efforts.

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Image: Artist concept of SLS launching
Photographs: Courtesy: NASA
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NASA's new rocket that will change space travel

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This new heavy-lift rocket will be America's most powerful since the Saturn V rocket that carried Apollo astronauts to the moon.

It will take humans to places no one has gone before.


Image: Artist concept of SLS on launchpad. (NASA)
Photographs: Courtesy: NASA
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NASA's new rocket that will change space travel

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"This launch system will create good-paying American jobs, ensure continued US leadership in space, and inspire millions around the world," NASA administrator Charles Bolden said.


Image: Artist concept of future destinations for the rocket
Photographs: Courtesy: NASA
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NASA's new rocket that will change space travel

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"President Obama challenged us to be bold and dream big, and that's exactly what we are doing at NASA. While I was proud to fly on the space shuttle, tomorrow's explorers will now dream of one day walking on Mars," he added.


Image: The Saturn V rocket

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NASA's new rocket that will change space travel

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This launch vehicle decision is the culmination of a months-long comprehensive review of potential designs to ensure the nation gets a rocket that is not only powerful but also evolvable.

It can be adapted to different missions as opportunities arise and new technologies are developed.


Image: NASA and ATK together designed a new rocket motor
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.atk.com/
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NASA's new rocket that will change space travel

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The SLS will carry human crews beyond low Earth orbit in a capsule named the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

The rocket will use liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen fuel system, where RS-25D/E engines will provide the core propulsion and the J2X engine is planned for use in the upper stage.


Image: NASA's Space Launch System reference configuration
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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