NASA is partnering with Boeing to build the most powerful rocket of all time to carry crew and cargo deep into the solar system: the Space Launch System (SLS). Its 2019 launch will officially start a new era of human exploration in deep space.
Here are five reasons the SLS is the best rocket to send Americans to Mars:
1.The SLS is the world’s most powerful rocket.
The SLS is the most powerful rocket ever built. There are two versions with two capacities: 70 metric tons and 130 metric tons. The configuration for 70 metric tons equals the horsepower of about 160,000 Corvette engines. The configuration for 130 metric tons could take 22 elephants into space.
It has enough power to catapult people and cargo beyond the moon and into deep space. No other rocket has such power.
2.The SLS is the world’s largest rocket.
The SLS is the largest rocket ever built. At 384 feet tall, it surpasses both the Statue of Liberty and the Saturn V, the rocket that took humans to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s through the Apollo program.
3.The SLS is flexible for different types of missions to deep space.
The SLS can be configured to transport people, cargo and science experiments into space. The rocket can evolve based on the needs of the mission, while remaining safe, affordable and sustainable.
4.The SLS is American-made.
The Boeing-built SLS is made right here in America. Designed in Alabama, built in Louisiana, tested in Mississippi and launched in Florida, with suppliers from almost every state providing hardware and advanced technologies.
5.The SLS is part of a long-term space program.
Boeing helped America win the 20th century space race. In fact, they’ve been building spacecraft for more than 50 years with NASA.
Because of this history, Boeing has the aerospace expertise to ensure that NASA astronauts are the first to Mars and help America win the modern-day space race.