Smoke and fire! NASA tests the world’s most powerful rocket [Video]

NASA SLS RS-25 rocket motor test

POTSpace Launch System (SLS) the rocket’s center stage fired all four RS-25 engines on March 18 at the Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The core stage includes the liquid hydrogen tank and the liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines, and the computers, electronics, and avionics that serve as the “brains” of the rocket.

The hot fire was the final test of the Green Run series. The term “green” refers to the new hardware that will work together to power the stage, and “run” refers to operating all components together simultaneously for the first time. For the test, the 212-foot center stage generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust while docked on the B-2 test bed at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The hot fire test included loading 733,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, reflecting the launch countdown procedure, and starting the engines.

Second hot fire test of the SLS rocket center stage

The center stage of the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen on the B-2 test bed during a second hot fire test, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. All four RS-25 engines fired for the total duration of 8 minutes during the test and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. The hot fire test is the final stage of the Green Run test series, a comprehensive evaluation of the core stage of the Space Launch System prior to the launch of the Artemis I mission to the Moon. Credit: NASA / Robert Markowitz

Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions, testing the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft as an integrated system prior to manned flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA is working to get the first woman and the next man to the Moon. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.

Read the Mega Moon Rocket Passes key test, Readies for Launch to learn more about this SLS core stage test.

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