Home opinion-and-analysis UNI-verse Is NASA building a 'rocket to nowhere'?

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NASA has been criticized lately about building a heavy-lift rocket -- the Space Launch System (SLS) -- without a clear goal in mind as to where it will go in space. NASA responds to this question.



NASA, the U.S. space agency, is building its Space Launch System (SLS), a heavy-lift vehicle that will be able to lift at least 70 metric tons into space, and at least 130 metric tons for a mission to the planet Mars.

The announcement for the SLS was made by NASA back in September 4, 2011, in the NASA article 'NASA Announces Design for New Deep Space Exploration System.'

The first paragraph of this announcement stated, 'NASA is ready to move forward with the development of the Space Launch System -- an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit. The Space Launch System will give the nation a safe, affordable and sustainable means of reaching beyond our current limits and opening up new discoveries from the unique vantage point of space.'

However, critics have bombarded NASA with much negative criticism of the program - basically calling it a 'rocket to nowhere.'

A January 31, 2012 Houston Chronicle article 'Critics blast NASA's 'rocket to nowhere. See the space agency response.', talks in detail about what the critics say and what NASA has to say in response. Houston, Texas is the home of the NASA Johnson Space Center, where NASA directs mission to space through its Mission Control Center and trains its astronauts.

Please read this article for much more information on this topic of NASA's future with the SLS outside of low-Earth orbit.

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University