Though it’s sad that NASA retired the space shuttle program, it’s no surprise seeing as how the space shuttles have been around since 1981. But with the death of the space shuttle program comes the birth of a new program: deep space exploration.
NASA has just announced the design for the US SLS, which will take humankind out of Earth’s orbit and to the Moon, to asteroids, to Mars, and maybe further.
You may have heard of the Saturn V, the launch system for every mission that’s taken a human being out of low earth orbit. The rocket that’s taken 24 of us to the Moon and back.
Well, the Space Launch System is even more powerful than that. Check out NASA’s “fun facts” pdf on the power of the SLS.
So here’s the thing. You’re probably in high school right now. A Junior or a Senior? That means you’ll graduate in 2012 or ’13. You might be out of college by 2017. Well guess what? The SLS is scheduled to debut in 2017. And that’s a ‘developmental mission,’ which means it’s just practice for the real stuff.
Stay in school and get a Masters or PhD, and you could be done with that in the early 2020s. Prime time to be a fresh mind getting a job at NASA to work in this SLS deep space exploration program.
Yeah, you might be too late to design the thing, but the last major space program by NASA just ended and it’s been around for 30 years.
Check out NASA’s official SLS page, complete with some interesting videos and artist renderings.