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Rocketology: NASA’s Space Launch System

Next Giant Leap, No Small Steps

16 Nov 2015, 16:19 UTC
Next Giant Leap, No Small Steps
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Our focus today at the Space Launch System (SLS) program is on building a new rocket – the most powerful in the world. On its first test flight, Exploration Mission-1, SLS will carry atop it an uncrewed Orion spacecraft, which will someday carry astronauts on a journey to deep space.
A similar scene was unfolding at NASA 48 years ago. On Nov. 9, 1967, the Saturn V rocket launched for the first time, carrying an Apollo spacecraft.
Less than two years later, a Saturn V rocket and Apollo spacecraft sent three astronauts sailing through the void between two worlds, culminating in two members of the crew becoming the first to set foot on another celestial body. The words spoken as the first boot dug into the powdery gray lunar regolith took their place among the most famous ever said.
“That’s one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind.”*
The launch of Apollo 4 was the first from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
With SLS, Orion, and a revitalized space launch complex, we are developing capabilities for our next pioneering endeavor – a journey to Mars.
We continue to make progress toward that journey. Testing has begun ...

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