Hey, want to go to Mars? Well, in a few years you can…kind of. The Space Launch System is the most powerful rocket we’ve built yet. The spacecraft needed approval from the SPAR agency before putting it to test. On August 27th, they gave us the okay and now, we are officially going to try and bring humans to Mars. Isn’t that crazy?
In 2018, which isn’t too far away if you think about it, we’re going to send the Space Launch System carrying the Orion spacecraft up into orbit. The SLS will be configured with a 70-metric-ton life capacity. The final version of the SLS will be able to carry 130 metric tons.
“Our nation is embarked on an ambitious space exploration program, and we owe it to the American taxpayers to get it right,” said Associate Administrator and review process overseer Robert Lightfoot. “After rigorous review, we’re committing today to a funding level and readiness date that will keep us on track to sending humans to Mars in the 2030s — and we’re going to stand behind that commitment.”
The first time we’ll be able to see the rocket be tested and set off into low Earth orbit will be December 4th of this year. This certain flight will be testing a lot of its aspects, like heat shielding, parachutes, and much more.
The entire project costs about $12 billion. Eh, not too shabby. Totally worth it, in my opinion. I’m excited to see this all come to life.