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NASA's SLS rocket engine undergoes test fire


Posted on Monday, 26 February, 2018 | Comment icon 6 comments

The test fire sent steam billowing out over a significant distance. Image Credit: NASA
New footage has been released showing the Space Launch System engine reaching 113 percent thrust level.
The enormously powerful rocket engine, which could one day send humans to the Moon or even Mars, was test-fired again last week at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The impressive spectacle saw huge clouds of steam billow out across the test range.

"Four RS-25 engines will help power SLS at launch, supplying a combined 2 million pounds of thrust and working in conjunction with a pair of solid rocket boosters to provide more than 8 million pounds of thrust," NASA wrote.

"RS-25 engines are former space shuttle main engines, which were designed more than 40 years ago to provide a specific power level, categorized as 100 percent thrust. Through the years, the engines were modified to provide additional thrust to 109 percent of its original designated level."

"For the larger, heavier SLS rocket, the engines are being modified again to operate at 111 percent of their original power level. Increased engine performance is crucial for enabling SLS missions to deep space as the rocket evolves to be larger and carry astronauts and heavy cargo on a single flight."

During this particular test, the rocket engine even managed to hit 113 percent thrust for a short time.


Source: Tech Times | Comments (6)

Tags: SLS, NASA

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by kartikg on 26 February, 2018, 20:05
Congratulations to NASA 
Comment icon #2 Posted by TonopahRick on 26 February, 2018, 22:30
Just curious, how long have they been working on this?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 26 February, 2018, 23:36
It depends on exactly what you define as "working" on this". The SLS was the result of the NASA Authorisation Act of 2010. This effectively merged the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles of the defunct Constellation programme.  NASA selected the design in September 2011. It passed it's Preliminary Design Review in July 2013. It entred full scale developmentin 2014. Manufacture of the first launch vehicle began in mid-November 2014. Test firings of the engines began in January 2015.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by goodgodno on 2 March, 2018, 14:55
Waspie, how does the development of this programme complement Space X programmes, including the human rated dragon capsule and BFR?  Do they have distinct, separate objectives which dove tail nicely, or is there some overlap due to the legacy and age of the SLS programme?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 2 March, 2018, 15:02
They are separate programmes. The Orion/SLS is designed for deep space exploration, SpaceX is contracted to take NASA astronauts to low Earth orbit (as are Boeing). Elon Musk's plans for colonising Mars are his plans alone and nothing to do with NASA. NASA did have plans to place scientific experiments on board SpaceX's Red Mars mission to land a Dragon capsule on Mars, but SpaceX have postponed that mission indefinitely as they found the propulsive landing system too difficult to master.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by TonopahRick on 3 March, 2018, 3:15
Thanks for the reply to my question above, I guess I had the two programs mixed together.  It just seems they have been working on this for a long time or maybe I'm just a little anxious to see something happen. Hope this post makes it, it's my fourth attempt to reply to you. Yea it made it!!!!


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