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Artist concept of SLS launching
Artist Concept: Space Launch System, 70-Metric-Ton Configuration

This artist concept shows the 70-metric-ton configuration of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) during launch. America’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, will be the largest launch vehicle ever built and more powerful than the Saturn V rocket that carried Apollo astronauts to the moon. The 70-metric-ton configuration (77 tons) will lift more than 154,000 pounds and will provide 10 percent more thrust than the Saturn V rocket. The first SLS mission — Exploration Mission 1 — in 2017 will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to demonstrate the integrated system performance of the SLS rocket and spacecraft prior to a crewed flight.

Image credit: NASA/MSFC

(Concept updated July 30, 2013)

Page Last Updated: August 16th, 2013
Page Editor: Brooke Boen