The rocket that could take us to Mars, eventually. So here’s a video of what the NASA’s SLS launch of might look like.
NASA speaks about its upcoming Space Launch System (SLS) in grandiloquent terms. “With its unprecedented capabilities,” the agency says, “SLS will launch astronauts in the agency’s Orion spacecraft on missions to explore multiple, deep-space destinations, including Mars.” To that end, it’s released a promotional animation of what the SLS will look like when it takes off. In part to help imagine a rocket that won’t fly for at least two more years.
In its Earthbound Block 1 phase, the SLS will stand taller than the Statue of Liberty at 322 feet. With all its fuel will weigh 5.75 million pounds. But that’s nothing compared to the 8.8 million pounds of thrust it will produce at liftoff, 15 percent more thrust than the mighty Saturn V.
If it ever gets off the ground. NASA has performed some fiery motor tests, but the SLS project has been plagued by delays, with the most recent setback pushing its inaugural launch date back to 2019—three years after the initial target of 2016.
When it does fly, it’s designed to take up to the four astronauts in Orion spacecraft into missions in the future, including Mars and deep space missions. However, the first SLS launch will be uncrewed. There’s plenty worth fantasising about, but hopefully it will also be a reality sometime this decade.