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NASA Working On World's Largest Rocket

Updated: Thursday, June 19 2014, 09:37 AM CDT

Three years after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's final space shuttle flight, the agency's next frontier is coming together in cities across the southern part of the United States. "The United States is the leader in the industry. We're the leader for the world," says Jackie Nesselroad with the Boeing Company.

NASA officials are working on the world's largest rocket. The Space Launch System has its sights set on reaching deep space. An asteroid, or, someday, they hope, Mars. Sections of the rocket's core stage are being welded in New Orleans. Forty miles away in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, engines are being assembled by hand. "This is essentially the brain and nervous system of your rocket," says Curt Jackson with NASA.

In Huntsville, Alabama, flight computers are going through launch sequences. "This is one of the pieces that the designers need to design the various hardware and components," says Douglas Counter with NASA.

NASA engineers still have years of work ahead though. The first test flight of the Space Launch System is still three years away. And as that work continues, so does progress toward another milestone. The maiden voyage of Orion, a test mission of NASA's next-generation crew capsule,  is expected to happen later this year.

NASA Working On World's Largest Rocket

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