NASA's 'megarocket' set for crucial test

NASA's 'megarocket' set for crucial test”

The SLS Green Run test will take place at Stennis Space Center in MS, and it comes after NASA worked to solve an unexpected problem in a previous test, a wet dress rehearsal that marks the first time that cryogenic or supercooled liquid fuels have been used.

The test is a crucial step toward the first launch of SLS, which is now scheduled for November 2021. After this is completed, it will be taken to the Vertical Assembly Facility to be lifted onto the SLS rocket and prepared for roll to the launch pad. This was supposed to be the last test before the big rocket launches late this year, but that could change depending on the after-test review finds. It's not until Artemis III that people will return to the lunar surface.

NASA will test-fire all four engines at once on its new space launch system at the Stennis Space Center at 4 p.m. which will hopefully be ready to fly to the moon in 2022.

The four refurbished space shuttle main engines ignited on schedule sending clouds pouring into the south MS sky. The core stage's firing is the eighth and final step in NASA's " Green Run", a program created to thoroughly test each part of the core stage ahead of SLS's first launch, called Artemis 1 - an uncrewed test flight now scheduled for November 2021. The timeline is daring and NASA has many challenges to overcome on its way. It took several hours to transfer the hydrogen and oxygen stored nearby in six barges, outgoing NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a tweet.

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"The upcoming hot fire test will fire all four of the stage's RS-25 engines simultaneously for up to eight minutes to simulate the core stage's performance during launch", NASA said in a statement on January 5.

NASA's last major test-firing of an SLS component happened on September 2, when Northrop Grumman successfully ignited a 176-foot-tall (54-meter) side booster. The European Space Agency provides the European Service Unit to Orion. If the core stage's hot fire goes well, NASA will ship the rocket to Kennedy Space Center in Florida in February. It will help NASA to verify and certify the proper functioning of the rocket for the flight scheduled for the end of the year.

SLS has seen delays during its development, but it's still at the heart of NASA's ambitious plans to take humans back to the moon by 2024 through the Artemis program.

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