The Saturn V was NASA's first heavy lift launch vehicle. Image Credit: NASAA heavy lift launch vehicle is a type of rocket. "Launch vehicle" is a term used to describe rockets that launch people or payloads. Rockets come in many sizes. Some rockets are more powerful than others. Different rockets have different purposes. Heavy lift rockets are the most powerful type of rockets. NASA's Saturn V (5) rocket was the most powerful heavy lift launch vehicle to fly successfully. Other heavy lift launch vehicles include the Titan IV (4) and Delta IV (4) Heavy, Russia's Proton and Europe's Ariane 5.
Words to Know:
Payload: cargo, passengers, supplies, or equipment carried by a vehicle in addition to what is necessary for its operation
Low Earth orbit: a path that a vehicle flies that is between 80 km and 2000 km (50 to 1243 miles) above Earth
Heavy lift launch vehicles could someday let humans explore Mars. Image Credit: NASANASA has a new plan for the future of space exploration. The new plan will eventually lead to human exploration of Mars. Many steps will be needed in order to get there. New technologies will have to be developed. The president has told NASA to work on a new Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle. The new vehicle will use many things NASA has learned about rockets. It will also use brand new technologies. Nobody knows yet what the new rocket will be like. Engineers are working to figure out the best way to prepare to explore the solar system.