Humanity has come a long way since the first rocket was launched into space. Science and engineering have also advanced to the point that we can now make reusable rockets that can land after their launch. So let’s look at some of the most powerful rockets ever developed.
Many private space companies (SpaceX and Blue Origin) have also come forward and are now standing toe to toe with NASA and other government space agencies. Due to this, we have seen tremendous growth in space exploration in recent years.
Thanks to that, we now have powerful, massive, reusable rockets to reach space. So here are some of the world’s biggest and most powerful space launch rockets throughout history.
Powerful Space Launch Rocket Systems
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1. Starship Rocket
The Starship rocket is a 400ft tall rocket that holds the title of the tallest rocket ever. The super-heavy spacecraft weighs more than 10 million pounds. However, the best thing about the SpaceX rocket is that it is fully reusable. The Starship rocket has more than twice the thrust of Saturn V.
The launch system is powered by SpaceX’s Super Heavy first-stage booster. Once in space, it becomes a self-contained spacecraft. The spacecraft can even be refueled in orbit before changing velocity and direction to Moon or Mars.
2. Saturn V Rocket
The Saturn V rocket is a super heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by NASA for the Apollo program. Using the rocket, NASA launched 24 astronauts to the moon, from Apollo 8 to Apollo 17 missions. The Saturn V rocket has been retired since then, but it is still a significant landmark in 20th-century engineering. It towers 363 ft high and weighs a whopping 2.8 million kg.
3. Space Launch System (SLS)
The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is technically the most powerful rocket that has been successfully launched. It stands 365 feet tall and has the highest payload capacity among all other rockets operational today. The SLS can send astronauts, the Orion spacecraft, and cargo in just one mission to the moon.
4. Ares I Rocket
The Ares I rocket was designed as a part of the Constellation Program. The rocket was 308 ft tall and cost $1 billion or more per flight. However, the Ares I rocket got canceled along with the Constellation program. It only had one successful flight in 2009 before being scrapped in 2010.
5. Delta IV Heavy Rocket
The Delta IV Heavy Rocket is considered the Nation’s Heavy Lifter. It is the world’s third highest-capacity launch vehicle behind SLS and SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. The rocket stands 236 ft tall with a payload capacity of 25,800 kg. However, the rocket is set in 2024.
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