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NASA Introduced Space Launch System (SLS); The Most Powerful Rocket Ever Built

May 16, 2016 03:45 AM EDT

NASA built the biggest and most powerful rocket ever made, the Space Launch System (SLS) which can carry as mush as 143 tons of weight and will enable an on-board crew spacecraft, Orion, to travel deeper into space where no crew has gone before. 


The Space Launch System or SLS is the "biggest, most capable rocket ever built for entirely new human exploration missions beyond Earth's orbit" NASA said. What makes it different is that this rocket is capable of "evolving" to adjust to the needs of astronauts; it can expand and carry more weight if needed. It can carry 143 tons of cargo (evolved capability) from its initial lift capability of 77 tons.

The most powerful rocket will be employed in NASA's Journey to Mars. Last month, the Kennedy Space Center did a preliminary test of the platforms where the SLS will be launched for its first flight, the Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1). NASA said the platforms where the most powerful rocket will be launched "were successfully activated to test their functionality and simulate how they will surround the massive rocket on the mobile launcher."

"It was an amazing sight to look down and watch as the platform smoothly extended out into the open air of High Bay 3...As each half of the J platforms slowly extended, I couldn't help but think forward to the day when the SLS core stage and boosters will fill the void between the platform halves" said Mike Bolger, Ground Systems Development and Operations Program (GSDO) manager.


NASA further added that the platforms were part of the 10 platforms in total which will surround the SLS.

"The platforms will extend and retract and will have the capability to be adjusted up or down as required to give engineers and technicians access to various areas of the giant rocket" NASA added.

The SLS will be flown in a test flight using the smaller configuration which can carry 70 ton lift capacity and an unscrewed Orion spacecraft. The Orion spacecraft is part of the rocket which will house astronauts during flights.


SLS, the biggest and most powerful rocket ever made, will take Orion to the greater and deeper depths of the Solar System.

"[The SLS is] able to carry more payload than the space shuttle and generate more thrust at launch than the Saturn V, SLS will send the Orion spacecraft farther into space than Apollo ever ventured...and that's just the first flight." NASA said.

The Orion Spacecraft attached to the SLS is set to travel to areas where "no crew vehicle have ever gone before" and if SLS is indeed the most powerful and the biggest rocket ever made, then Orion can do the mission on hand.


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