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Next Stop, the Final Frontier

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) has been touted as the most powerful rocket in the world, but SpaceX’s Starship, a 400-foot-tall behemoth with 33 first-stage engines, is expected to launch on Monday, April 19. Unlike the SLS, Starship is designed to return to a soft landing on Earth and be used again. Starship is designed to be refueled in orbit, allowing SpaceX to hoist an unprecedented amount of cargo and potentially dozens of people to deep space. It is also expected to be far less expensive to operate than the SLS, and it will be able to accommodate payloads that are significantly larger and heavier than traditional NASA payloads. In 2021, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to use Starship as the vehicle that would land astronauts on the surface of the moon.

Complex Terms:

  • SpaceX – American spacecraft manufacturer

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