Nasa just approved spending $7Billon on building the most powerful rocket ever created by mankind.
It’ll have a lift capacity of 286,000 Pounds.
(The apollo era saturn V still holds the title of most powerful at 260,000 pounds of capacity until this bad boy launches.)
This is the best news I’ve heard all year.
If you don’t think this is the kind of thing that we should be spending money on - close your browser, put your head down, and think about your choices.
(Or just let SpaceX do it for cheaper with reusable shuttles…)
I love SpaceX. This mission ain’t for them.
Some Privatization is ultimately good for space exploration, but the largest rocket SpaceX has developed, the Falcon Heavy, lifts less than half of this bad boy with a capacity of 117,000 pounds.
In terms of reusable technology, if you look at the Nasa rocket above you’ll note that the sides are Solid Rocket Boosters, one of the reusable components to come from the Space Shuttle Program.
The Falcon Heavy is also slated to have reusable boosters, but at a penalty to lift capacity. If all three of the falcon’s booster cores are to fly as reusable, payload to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit drops to 15,000 pounds.
Nasa’s Space Launch System doesn’t report figures for lift to GTO, as that’s not what it’s meant for, but it does give figures for Trans-Mars Injection launches, which require even more thrust than a launch to GTO. The SLS will be capable of sending over 64,000 pounds to mars - even with some reusable components.
SpaceX should keep on doing space stuff - but when it comes to interplanetary travel - Nasa’s beast is on track to be unparalleled.