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NASA deep-space rocket, SLS, to launch in 2018

The US space agency's powerful deep-space rocket, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), aims to blast off for the first time in 2018, NASA saysThe US space agency’s powerful deep-space rocket, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), aims to blast off for the first time in 2018, NASA said Wednesday. The SLS has been in development for three years already, and when finished it should propel spacecraft beyond Earth’s orbit and eventually launch crew vehicles to Mars by the 2030s. NASA has now completed a thorough review of the project, signifying formal space agency commitment to the 70 metric ton version of the SLS at a cost of $7.021 billion from 2014 to 2018. “The program is making real, significant progress,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA.

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