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NASA building largest rocket ever
By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
The engineers at NASA are working on the biggest rocket ever, called the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS will make its first unmanned trip in 2018, but its bigger goal is to carry humans into orbit around an asteroid and then to Mars in 2030.
Modern rocketry began in 1926, when Robert Goddard launched the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts. In the 1930s, Soviet Russia began a massive rocket research effort with its top scientists, and during World War II in the early 1940s, Nazi Germany used rockets to launch missiles.
After World War II, the USA and Soviet Russia engaged in a Cold War for global, political and technological domination, which included a Space Race to send a man to the Moon. Thanks to President John F. Kennedy’s heavy funding of NASA for the Moon mission, the mighty Saturn V rocket successfully took humans to the Moon and back.
The Saturn V was 363 feet tall, which is about 60 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. It also weighed 6.2 million pounds, which is about the weight of 400 elephants! The new SLS, though, will surpass the Saturn V with a height of 384 feet, and it will have 20 percent more thrusting power than any previous rocket.