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TORONTO – It’s the next giant leap in space exploration.

On Wednesday, NASA officials announced that they have completed a “rigorous review” of the Space Launch System, or SLS. This heavy-lift exploration rocket is aimed at getting humanity beyond low-Earth orbit and to Mars.

Since the end of the Apollo era, the human space program has been limited to low-Earth orbit and this is the first rocket of its kind in the new era of human space exploration.

This step – approval to take the rocket from formulation to development – is the first project to have reached this stage of development since the space shuttle.

READ MORE:NASA launches Mars ‘flying saucer’ vehicle

“We are on a journey of scientific and human exploration that leads to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “And we’re firmly committed to building the launch vehicle and other supporting systems that will take us…

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