NASA and ATK are one step closer to meeting a 2017 launch date for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) after completion of a significant structural test of the booster’s main attachment mechanism. NASA is developing SLS to take humans farther into deep space than ever before.
In just a matter of months, NASA will send its new human-rated spacecraft into space for the first time. And back here on the ground, Mission Control Center in Houston will be at the helm for Exploration Flight Test-1
SLS will have the largest cryogenic fuel tanks ever used on a rocket. Stands to test the tanks and other hardware to ensure that these huge structures can withstand the incredible stresses of launch will be built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
Whenever humans finally touch down on Mars, they’ll be following in the footsteps of many brave robotic pioneers. Right now there are two NASA robots exploring the Martian surface — the Curiosity rover and its older cousin, Opportunity — while a fleet of orbiters from NASA and the European Space Agency circle above. More probes are on the way, too.
This isn’t a real-life recreation of “Armageddon.” There’s no clear and present threat to Earth. But NASA says it’s working on plans to send astronauts into space to land on an asteroid. The NASA mission isn’t planned to take place until the 2020s. That isn’t stopping astronauts from simulating an asteroid landing in a 40-foot-deep swimming pool at a Space Center in Houston.
Panelists were a European astronaut and experts from NASA Johnson Space Center, Moon Express, World View, NASA Ames Research Center and Mars One.