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Building the Capability for a Mars Landing

Human exploration to deep space has long been a dream of Earth’s inhabitants. Finally, we are building the capabilities to make the long journey – and return home safely. It all begins with the rocket that can escape Earth’s atmosphere with enough power left over to carry large elements of those capabilities into deep space to support a long-term human mission. The rocket is NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), and Boeing is right now manufacturing SLS flight hardware in New Orleans at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility.  

Boeing has just released a video, “38 Stories of Power ,” showcasing the rocket build and NASA’s vision for pioneering the deep space frontier.  

In the video, Paisley Matthews, Boeing program integration manager for the Space Launch System, explains how Boeing researchers are designing innovative technologies that will thrust humans and cargo into deep space, building the capability for a manned Mars landing in 2030.  

It’s no small challenge.  

SLS is the largest vehicle ever planned or that exists today – it will tower 384 feet tall or about 38 stories. The rocket will weigh about 6.5-million pounds, have a payload equivalent to the weight of 22 elephants and produce 9-million pounds of thrust.  

The SLS will launch for the first time in 2018 for Exploration Mission 1, with an uncrewed capsule, for a trip around the moon.  

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