Inside NASA’s Mars Mission

Exclusive photos of the capsule and rocket that could carry humankind to Mars
acoustic testing chamber
Rocket launches are loud—180 decibels or more—and can turn human organs into jelly. They can also wreak havoc on a space capsule. So engineers in Sandusky test Orion’s structural integrity by blasting its parts with 152 decibels of noise inside the world’s most powerful acoustic chamber. Spencer Lowell

NASA’s $18 billion Orion program will deliver humans to the surface of Mars sometime in the 2030s. For the first time, the agency opened its doors—at three facilities around the country—to give us an exclusive look as they build the capsule and rocket systems that will take us there.

orion capsule pressure vessel
orion's solar panels
part of sls rocket's hydrogen tank
hydrogen fuel tank cap

This article was originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Popular Science.