Infographic: NASA's Next Rocket

The barrel for the engine section of NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System.

The barrel for the engine section of NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System. NASA

The era of the Space Shuttle may be over, but get a peek inside the space agency's new space launch system.

The era of the Space Shuttle is over, and NASA now is paving the way for the Space Launch System to take astronauts farther than before.

Currently in construction at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the SLS will stand 322 feet tall and weigh 70 metric tons. Meanwhile, NASA centers in Langley, Virginia, and Huntsville, Alabama, are conducting testing on the booster separation system and the Orion capsule, respectively. 

The Orion spacecraft will launch Dec. 4 for a test flight to provide data to prepare Orion for future missions aboard the SLS.