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NASA officials: KSC still “the place to come” in space industry | FLORIDA TODAY |

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Meanwhile, a high bay in the Vehicle Assembly Building, which Atlantis is expected to depart around 7 a.m. Friday, is being renovated to support a heavy-lift rocket NASA is developing to carry astronauts to the moon, an asteroid or eventually Mars.

The Space Launch System is slated for a first, unmanned test launch in 2017 from pad 39B, a former shuttle pad now in a “clean” pad configuration that could potentially support launches of different kinds of rockets.

Aren't the moon, asteroids, and Mars three entirely different types of mission?

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