NASA unveils the most powerful rocket ever built

Jamie McKane

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NASA unveils the most powerful rocket ever built

NASA has given members of the media their first look at the Artemis Project's Space Launch System (SLS), the rocket system which will be used to take astronauts to the Moon.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine showcased the new rocket system during a tour of the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
 

MirageF1

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Gotta say one thing, apart from the marvel of man's ingenuity, we're all extremely fortunate and blessed to be alive in an era where we can be real time witness to another human being stepping onto a distant world besides our own...

Extraordinary.
 

MirageF1

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I think they mean the most powerful NASA built rocket, because the Russian N1 Rocket still holds the record for the most powerful rocket ever built even though it exploded 70 seconds after lift-off.
Well that won't get you to the Moon, will it now.
 

Norrad

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Well that won't get you to the Moon, will it now.
I was trying to add a few details to my post and it disappeared :crying: Nope it wouldn't get you to the moon, but it still holds the record until something else comes along.
 
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MirageF1

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what is the max power or thrust??
Didn't mention in the article, but considering the weight of 2 million litres (+- 2000 tons) of fuel alone, to accelerate that to 27,000 km/hr on takeoff against gravity must be o_O!
 

garyc

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The core stage that they unveiled is based on the space shuttle external tank. It mounts four RS-25 rocket engines that were left over from the shuttle programme. They have been at this since 2011. Maybe Blue Origin will beat them to the moon.
 

AntennaMan

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The core stage that they unveiled is based on the space shuttle external tank. It mounts four RS-25 rocket engines that were left over from the shuttle programme. They have been at this since 2011. Maybe Blue Origin will beat them to the moon.
NASA's major issue (one of many) is that different administrations give differing priorities to space exploration, and therefore their budget gets cut frequently. This slowed down the development significantly.
 

furpile

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Didn't mention in the article, but considering the weight of 2 million litres (+- 2000 tons) of fuel alone, to accelerate that to 27,000 km/hr on takeoff against gravity must be o_O!
That mass is based on the density of water. Liquid hydrogen seems to have a density of about 71 g/l compared to 1000 g/l for water. Still 140 tons of fuel though. And then the volume required for the oxidizer. But then by the time you get to that speed there will be very little fuel left.
 

furpile

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32 000kN

Saturn V was 35 100kN so I dunno how they claim the most powerful rocket ever built. Saturn V also had bigger payloads to LEO and the moon.
This is only the core stage it seems, it will have boosters as well. The plan to get it to 150 ton payload in Phase 2.
 

MirageF1

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That mass is based on the density of water. Liquid hydrogen seems to have a density of about 71 g/l compared to 1000 g/l for water. Still 140 tons of fuel though. And then the volume required for the oxidizer.
Good point. Never realised exactly how light liquid H was. Less than 10% that of water.

But then by the time you get to that speed there will be very little fuel left.
Sure its a non linear calc.
 

Ancalagon

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NASA's major issue (one of many) is that different administrations give differing priorities to space exploration, and therefore their budget gets cut frequently. This slowed down the development significantly.
NASA's big issue is that Congress dictates where and how they spend their money. They don't really need the SLS, but they have to develop it because Congress wants it. And the reason Congress wants it is that an Alabama Senator uses it to channel funds to his own state, which makes him popular there. SLS results in high paying jobs for Alabamans, so SLS continues, even if it is horribly late and overbudget.

If NASA had more decision making power, they might scrap it, but they aren't allowed to.
 
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