According to a NASA announcement made on Monday, July 18, 2011, United Launch Alliance (UAL) will look into the possibility of launching astronauts into space with its Atlas V rocket.
The design of the new NASA rocket that will take astronauts out beyond low-Earth orbit has been selected by the U.S. agency. It’s a whopper, eventually being the most powerful rocket ever built. NASA calls the entire program the Space Launch System.
With Obama and Congress still unsure about how NASA should proceed with its manned space program, NASA continues with privately funded companies as a way to transport cargo and astronauts back and forth into space. As of April 2010, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is preparing for its maiden launch from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 30.