POT successfully completed a key static test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket engines, which had struggled, marking an important step on its way to return to the humans to the moon.
In the second “hot fire” test, the rocket’s four RS-25 engines fired simultaneously at 4:40 PM EDT for eight minutes, producing a maximum of 1.6 million pounds of thrust.
In the test of the POT a huge cloud of smoke produced, under a deafening noise, at the Stennis Space Center, near St. Louis Bay, Mississippi.
The rocket will launch the Artemis missions to the Moon
The Boeing-built rocket could eventually launch the Artemis missions of the POT to Moon after a previous test was discontinued in January.
The hot fire test of the central phase of the SLS rocket simulated a launch by firing the engines was anchored to a tower.
The POT aims to bring American astronauts back to the Moon by 2024, but the SLS program is three years behind schedule and has exceeded its budget by nearly $ 3 billion. The last astronaut to walk on the Moon was Eugene Cernan in December 1972.
NASA conducted unsuccessful preliminary tests
NASA previously tested all four engines for its gigantic core phase in January, but the test lasted about a minute, far less than the roughly four minutes required by engineers.
For Thursday’s test, engineers fired the rocket’s four RS-25 engines at the same time for eight minutes, and after being successful the SLS will be sent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with Lockheed Martin’s Orion spacecraft. Corp.
This was the eighth and final test in the ‘Green Run’ series to ensure that the core phase of the SLS rocket is ready for launch Artemis missions to the Moon. Artemis I is scheduled to orbit the Moon in November with an unmanned ship, but that date is likely to change.
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