As NASA unveiled the design for a new “monster” rocket, Houston city leaders touted the announcement as a way to “stabilize” jobs and boost morale in and around the Johnson Space Center.

The area has seen the loss of 4,000 jobs since the space shuttle program ended in July, Mayor Annise Parker said Wednesday. But 14,000 civil service and contract jobs still remain, she said.

The Space Launch System — or SLS — will carry the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle into deep space. The rocket’s first test flight is scheduled for 2017. NASA hopes to land humans on asteroids by 2025 and Mars by the 2030s.

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