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New NASA Rocket Will Let Humans 'Boldly Go' Into Deep Space

07/07/2014 15:49 BST | Updated 07/07/2014 15:59 BST

NASA is back with a vengeance. After years of unmanned missions to other planets it looks like the organisation that put humans on the Moon is now ready to start human exploration again with a brand new rocket.

Called the Space Launch System it's NASA's first human exploration vessel since Saturn V and with the go-ahead now all confirmed Boeing will start building ahead of launch trials in 2017.

The SLS rocket is enormous, not only is it the largest rocket since Saturn V sent humans to the Moon it's also their most powerful with the 143 ton variant offering 20 per cent more thrust than the Saturn V.

space launch system

To give you some idea of how long its taken NASA, this is the first time real developments have been made with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen rockets in nearly 40 years.

NASA's plan is to use the SLS to launch its Deep Space Orion spacecraft which will then use a newly developed upper stage to get it to destinations like the Moon and even Mars.

orion spacecraft

The partnership between NASA and Boeing will see the aeronautics company build a 200ft core tower that'll store the enormous quantities of liquid fuel needed to send a person into space.

The US government is setting aside a cool $6.8bn over the next four years for the entire project with trials set to begin in 2017 and actual manned missions taking place as soon as 2020.

READ MORE: Europe Will Help Build Mars-Bound Orion Spacecraft