Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



NASA’s New Mega-Rocket To Mars
September 15, 2011
submit to reddit

If you were slightly depressed by the announcement NASA was retiring the space shuttle program (which cost the US $196 billion over 40 years), prepare to get slightly excited about the US space agency's announcement of the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful launch vehicle in the history of the world!

Bombastic language, sure, but the US space agency says its new baby is "Nasa's first exploration-class vehicle since the Saturn V took American astronauts to the moon over 40 years ago."

This guy's got longer journeys in its future, though. Manned flights are scheduled to begin in 2021, with the goal of beginning a series of yearly, Star Trek-like exploratory voyages to asteroids in 2025. Following those trips, the 320-foot-tall launch system will carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to the moon, sure, but also beyond, to Mars.

Here's an animation of what SLS will look like, once it's ready for unmanned test flights in 2017.

There's also some promising news for you explorer-types with stars in your eyes; a report from a panel led by a former shuttle astronaut was released last Wednesday that recommends NASA increase its astronaut corps. If NASA brass listen, well, get ready to boldly go where no one has gone before. (That is, unless the Russian-European space partnership we told you about a few weeks ago gets to Mars first.)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.