NASA's Mars Science Lab and Curiosity rover are the next steps in a long-term plan to travel farther and faster into space. Check out this visual tour of the future spacecrafts and tools that will get them there.
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The Space Launch System, the next chapter in the space program after the Space Shuttle, will be used in combination with the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle to carry its crew into Earth's orbit and beyond. This artist rendering shows the SLS's liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propulsion system, used for the first phase of launch, and the J-2X engine for the latter stage. The first developmental flight is targeted for the end of 2017. Credit: Artist Rendering/NASA