NASA targets final test of ‘world’s most powerful rocket’ on January 17
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is looking to carry out the eighth and final test in its “Green Run” test series on January 17, the space agency has said on its official website. This eighth stage, termed “hot fire,” will bring to an end a series of tests which, NASA says, will gradually bring together the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) to life for the very first time. The core stage of the SLS will form the backbone of what NASA says will be the “most powerful rocket in the world” and will power its next-generation human Moon Missions.
During the “hot fire” test, all four of the core stage’s RS-25 engines will be fired simultaneously for up to eight minutes to simulate the core’s performance during the actual launch. The agency’s Stennis Space Center, near St. Louis Bay, Mississippi, is where this firing will take place. After this, the core stage will be refurbished and taken to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The stage will then be assembled with the other parts of the rocket and NASA’s Orion spacecraft for Artemis I, which will be the first integrated flight of Orion-SLS and the first under the Artemis programme, under which NASA will take the first woman and the next man to Moon, by 2024.
“The next few days are critical in preparing the Artemis I rocket stage, the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center and the test team for the finale of the Green Run test series,” the agency quoted Barry Robinson, project manager for the SLS core stage Green Run testing at the Stennis Center, as saying.
The 212-foot-tall SLS core stage includes the liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank can hold 733,000 gallons of propellant to power the RS-25 engines.
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