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Space launch booster that will take humans to Mars in action

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This is the most powerful rocket booster ever built, and you can see it in action in the video below, taken at the first test of the system earlier this week.

The booster, which will propel NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft
deep into space, including to Mars and an asteroid, fired for a total
of two minutes – the same amount of time it would take to blast off the
launch pad. In that time, it is capable of producing around 1.6 MILLION
kilograms of thrust (3.6 million pounds).
This was one of two
necessary tests before the booster is qualified for flight, and was
conducted in the middle of the Utah desert, where it would have left
some serious scorch marks.
In this trial, the booster was heated
to 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) to test it at the top range of its
temperature limit. The next test, which is scheduled for early 2016,
will make sure it works just as well at the bottom end of the
temperature scale, at 4 degrees Celsius (40 Fahrenheit).

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“The work
being done around the country today to build SLS is laying a solid
foundation for future exploration missions, and these missions will
enable us to pioneer far into the solar system,” said William
Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and
operations, in a press release. 

“The
teams are doing tremendous work to develop what will be a national
asset for human exploration and potential science missions.” 

We
can’t wait to see this bad boy unleash all its fire and brimstone on a
launch pad in the coming years. If nothing else is certain about a
mission to Mars, at least it looks like we’ve got enough fire power.

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