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NASA's Space Launch System: the largest rocket in history takes shape

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Photos and conceptual illustrations of NASA's Space Launch System, a new rocket designed to take humans to Mars and beyond. Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011, NASA has been left without any domestic method of transporting astronauts into space on its own, and has instead been purchasing space on Russian Soyuz craft. Private companies including SpaceX are racing to fill the void, but NASA wants its own passenger vehicle, and is aiming for a first test launch of the Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule no later than November 2018.