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NASA marks significant milestone with successful SLS engine test
RS-25 hot fire test at Stennis.
NASA marks significant milestone with successful SLS engine test
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jun 04, 2023

NASA has recently made critical progress in the testing of its RS-25 engine, an integral component for upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon. On June 1st, the space agency successfully carried out the ninth in a series of critical engine hot fire tests at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

This comes as part of NASA's ongoing efforts to certify new RS-25 engines for deep space missions, developed in collaboration with lead contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne. With the three remaining tests scheduled for this month, NASA is swiftly moving towards the finish line of this crucial engine test series, set to power Artemis V and future missions.

The recent hot fire test took place on the Fred Haise Test Stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center, near Bay St. Louis. The engine was powered for over eight minutes, or precisely 500 seconds, which is the time required to help launch the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, carrying the Orion spacecraft into orbit with astronauts on board.

Significantly, the RS-25 engine was also operated at 113% power, surpassing the 111% level typically required during launch. This intentional excess provides engineers with a margin of operational safety, allowing for the collection of additional data and offering further reassurance about the robustness of the engine.

The SLS rocket is partially driven by four RS-25 engines, which together generate a staggering 2 million pounds of combined thrust when firing simultaneously. The maiden Artemis I mission took off successfully in November of the previous year, and now NASA is busily working towards future Artemis missions. These missions are targeted to return humans to the Moon, including milestones of landing the first woman and the first person of color.

In addition to this, NASA plans to cooperate with commercial and international partners to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon. This long-term objective serves a dual purpose: it's not only a monumental step for human space exploration but also a proving ground for NASA to test technologies and capabilities needed to accomplish its ambitious goal of sending humans to Mars.

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