NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) with a $2.8 billion contract with Boeing is building world’s most powerful rocket called the SLS (Space Launch System). The contract with Boeing ends in the year 2021. The rocket is approved and was unveiled by Boeing itself, and the maiden flight of the SLS is expected to be in 2017 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral.
President Barack Obama was the key decision maker and the one who took decision to construct the SLS, the most powerful rocket till date. President has shown a great interest in expanding the Space Programs and capabilities.
Virginia Barnes(Boeing’s SLS project vice-president/program manager) quoted:
Our teams have dedicated themselves to ensuring that the SLS – the largest ever – will be built safely, affordably and on time
SLS will be mainly designed to take humans and cargo not just till low Earth orbit but beyond onto Moon, Mars, other planets, asteroid belt and into deep space. $700 million has been allocated to Michoud Assembly Facility located in New Orleans, which will be developing the booster for the SLS and then finally put together and transported to Kennedy Space Center, where the launch would take place.
The SLS would weigh 2.5 million kilograms and would be almost 100 meters long, which will be able to lift 70 meteric tons. The next level of SLS would be almost 120 meters long, which would be able to carry 130 metric tons. Boeing has already been given permission to conduct study for next stage of rocket.
In other news, Russia’s new Post-Soviet era rocket Angara will be launched soon, it faced a technical failure, the pressure inside oxidizer tank suddenly dropped, minutes before the rocket was to be launched. The rocket has started tests to launch again from the new space center, Vostochny Cosmodrome.