NASA has set the ground for the largest rocket in the world, which would fulfil the human ambition of setting foot on the Red planet in the 2030’s. If it has always been on your radar to explore the space and walk on (probable) Earth's-sibling Mars, this will definitely get you on your toes!
The space agency has been promoting the film- 'The Martian', which matches with its own future exploration. NASA wants you to realize that reaching Mars is much more than just a sci-fi fantasy!
NASA recently revealed its intention of marking the history with its largest and strongest rocket, to be built in 2018. It was the first in 40 years, that the space agency's Human-Rated Rocket had completed all essential needs to clear a CDR (Critical Design Review) test.
The Space Launch System (SLS) is the first Exploration Class Rocket since the Saturn V and the first vehicle in the journey to the Red planet. Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator of NASA's Exploration Systems Development Division, revealed that the design of the SLS, and the first round of testing of its engines and boosters has been done. He also said that the production of the crucial components is under way.
The next rung of the ladder to Mars is Design Certification, which will follow the manufacturing, integration and testing, and would happen around 2017. It will contrast the final product with its design.
Thereafter, hardware qualification will take place and structural test articles be built. Earlier in 2015, NASA came a step nearer to its completion with the penultimate hot fire test of an RS-25 engine - one of four engines that will power the SLS. The RS-25 is also called the space shuttle main engine, and is the first reusable rocket engine.
The core stage, 322 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, will carry cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the SLS' four RS-25 engines.
It will provide 8.4 million pounds of thrust at lift-off, and would weigh 5.5 million pounds. It will also carry 70 metric tons or 154,000 pounds of payload. With numerous challenges still around the corner, we wish you all the best, NASA !