NASA to test the most powerful rocket ever built

NASA is to launch the mot powerful rocket in the world on January 17, 2021. NASA has named it as the “Space Launch System”.

What are the Key Features of Space Launch System?

  • The Space Launch System is to carry the first woman and the next man to the moon.
  • It is 98 metres tall. On the other hand, Saturn V that carried Astronauts to the moon in 1960s was 110 metre tall.
  • It has capacity to carry more than twenty-seven tonnes.
  • The Space Launch System is to be hauled into the Lower Earth Orbit.
  • It has four RS-25 engines.

How does the giant rocket of NASA work?

The Space Launch System consists of a giant core. It has two solid rocket boosters. Apart from these, the core has two large storage tanks. One tank stores liquid hydrogen and the other stores liquid oxygen. When the liquid oxygen and hydrogen are fed into the engine chambers, the chemical reaction produces vast amount of energy and steam. This steam exits engine nozzles at speeds of 16,000 km/hr to generate force that propels the rocket through the air.

What is the use of Solid Rocket Booster in SLS?

The Solid Rocket Boosters provide extra power to escape gravity clutches. These solid boosters provide 75% of the total thrust. They will burn six tonnes of Solid Rocket Booster every second.

Why is SLS the most powerful rocket?

  • The SLS will generate 39.1 mega Newtons of thrust at launch. This is 15% more than Saturn V. This is the highest thrust level ever achieved.
  • In 1960, Soviet Union built N1. N1 was built to reach moon. It could produce 45.4 mega Newtons of thrust. However, the N1 mission ended in failure.

What are the future high power rockets?

  • The future version of SLS is called Block-2 cargo. It is expected that Block-2 of SLS will reach the thrust levels of N1.
  • The vehicle called Starship being built by SpaceX is capable of producing 66.7 Mega Newtons of thrust. When launched, this will the most powerful rocket in the world.
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