Cape Canaveral
NASA approves rocket for deep-space travel
NASA approves rocket for deep-space travel

NASA gave the go-ahead to start full production on the most powerful rocket ever. The rocket, known as Space Launch System, is set to blast beyond low-Earth orbit this decade to explore the deep reaches of space, including near-Earth asteroids, the moon and, ultimately, Mars. Boeing Co., prime contractor on the rocket, announced Wednesday that it had completed a critical design review and finalized a $2.8-billion contract with NASA. The last time the space agency made such an assessment of a deep-space rocket was the mighty Saturn V, which took astronauts to the moon. If all goes well, the rocket's initial test flight from Cape Canaveral, Fla., is expected in 2017. "We're ready to...