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NASA plans to build the MOST GINORMUS rocket ever!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 16th, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's bigger and better - NASA has announced plans to build the biggest rocket ever in order to spread humankind to even further stars. Breath-taking new pictures of the Space Launch System, or SLS were made public by NASA this week. The system will be capable of lifting 130 tons into orbit - and eventually take humanity to the red planet Mars.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The SLS will be used to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, to explore the outer reaches of the solar system. There are indeed high hopes that the SLS could play a role in manned missions to Mars, launching "stepping stone" bases into orbit.

"The potential use of SLS for science will further enhance the synergy between scientific exploration and human exploration," John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington says. "SLS has the promise of enabling transformational science in our exploration of the solar system and cosmos."

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NASA's SLS will become the world's most powerful launch vehicle. SLS is working toward a first launch in 2017. In the initial flight test, the rocket will be able to launch 77 tons of payloads into low-Earth orbit, almost three times what the space shuttle could carry.

From there, SLS will be evolved to a configuration that will be able to carry 143 tons, more weight than any rocket before has been able to carry.

"While many people think of the Space Launch System in terms of human exploration, SLS could have a wide application in a lot of other areas, including space science," Steve Creech, assistant program manager for strategy and partnerships for SLS says.

There will be two versions of the SLS rocket. The smaller, 70-metric-ton SLS will stand 321 feet tall, provide 8.4 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, and weigh 5.5 million pounds. The far larger 130-metric-ton-configuration will be the most capable, powerful launch vehicle in history.

At a momentous 384 feet tall, the SLS will provide 9.2 million pounds of thrust at liftoff and weigh 6.5 million pounds, able to carry payloads weighing 286,000 pounds to orbit.

"For missions to the outer planets, for example, SLS could make it possible to do things that are currently impossible, such as sending larger scientific spacecraft with more instruments to far off destinations with reduced transit times.

"With SLS, you can design a spacecraft even larger than the space shuttle that carried Hubble. It's going to open up an entirely new way of thinking about how we plan and design planetary science missions," Creech says.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

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