STENNIS SPACE CENTER—The future of space exploration waits wrapped in plastic bags here, across Lake Pontchartrain from the historic old factory in New Orleans where NASA is beginning to assemble its next big launch vehicle. The heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) won’t go anywhere without the 16 surviving space shuttle main engines (SSME) preserved in an Aerojet Rocketdyne warehouse against the day when NASA managers hope they will reignite mankind’s move into the Solar ...

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