Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The first flight of NASA's next big rocket will carry a lunar laser, an asteroid scout, and some yeast

NASA is currently in the middle of building its next big rocket, the Space Launch System, which the agency hopes to use to send people into deep space and on to Mars someday. But before it can do all that, the SLS has to prove itself in the form of a test flight. That mission — scheduled for 2018 — will take NASA's uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the far side of the Moon. Toting the Orion may be the primary goal of the trip, but the SLS will have some extra room for other technologies — so it's going to take up to 13 small satellites along for the ride.

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