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Friday, May 30, 2014

NASA's New Mega-Rocket, Orion Capsule on Track for Future Test Flights

As reported by Space.comA new era of space exploration — supported by a history-making new mega-rocket and a spacecraft designed to deliver humans into deep space — could be on the horizon for NASA.  

The space agency is gearing up to build the largest and most powerful rocket in history. The huge launcher, called the Space Launch System (SLS), will move a new spacecraft dubbed Orion, designed to send up to four astronauts farther into the solar system than ever before. A short list of destinations includes the moon, nearby asteroids and, eventually, Mars.

Everyone is looking forward to 2021, the year when the first manned launch will occur. But before that happens, the rocket and spacecraft will have to pass a number of tests. [NASA's Space Launch System Rocket in Pictures]