NASA will conduct a second critical engine test for its first space launch system megaket in February, after the first attempt planned earlier this month ended.
“NASA plans to conduct a second Green Run Hot Fire Test with the Core Stage of Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as its fourth launch in February,” NASA officials said in a statement on Friday. (29 January).
Artemis 1 is the first unseen flight of the SLS rocket for NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to bring astronauts back to the moon by 2024. The mission was slated to land on the moon later this year. But that schedule is set to fly a series of tests to prove that the SLS undergoes its “Green Run” tests on the rocket. On January 16, when NASA first ignited the four main RS-25 locomotives of the SLS core stage, they shut down much earlier than planned.
The test, which was supposed to run for 485 seconds, or just 8 minutes, stopped 67 seconds after the engine burned. NASA officials said that due to this unexpected early end, NASA and Core Stage head contractor Boeing decided to conduct a second hot fire test.
Video: How NASA’s SLS Megacrat Engine Test Works
This second hot fire will provide additional data to help validate the rocket’s core phase for flight and, according to the same statement, should carry the minimum risk in the core phase.
After the first hot fire test, the core stage hardware, including the RS-25 engine and the B-2 test stand, remain “excellent condition,” according to the same statement, and do not require any major repairs to prepare for the second . Warm Fire Examination at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. ”
Nevertheless, to prepare for testing, the team continues to analyze data from the first hot fire, drying and refining the SLS engine, making minor repairs to the system’s thermal protection system, and conservatively The control logic is updating the parameters that were responsible for it. According to NASA, the first test ended early.
According to the statement, a second hot fire test will provide sufficient data to help the walk at least four minutes (approximately) that the main stage is flight-ready. This second hot fire will additionally allow the mission team to collect data on how the rocket’s core stage performs over the long term.
After this test, it would take about a month to revive the rocket’s main stage and engines before bringing the team to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it would be put together with other parts of the SLS meganet.
In addition to the Artemis 1 SLS rocket tests, NASA has resumed testing of individual RS-35 engines for future Artemis flights. On Thursday (January 28), the space agency successfully fired the RS-25 engine for its full eight-minute period as part of those tests.
Email Chelsea Gohad at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook.