NASA launches fourth RS-25 engine test
NASA conducted its fourth RS-25 single-engine hot fire of the year on May 20, a continuation of its seven-part test series to support the development and production of engines for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket of the agency during future missions to the Moon. .
The engine was fired for more than 8 minutes (500 seconds) on the A-1 test stand at the Stennis Space Center near St. Louis Bay, the same time the RS-25 engines needed to shoot for the launch of the SLS rocket.
The series of tests is designed to provide valuable data to Aerojet Rocketdyne, prime contractor for SLS engines, as it begins production of new engines for use after the first four SLS flights. Four RS-25 engines, along with a pair of solid rocket boosters, will help power the SLS at launch.
With engine testing of the first four missions of the Artemis rocket to the moon program already complete, operators are now focusing on collecting data to demonstrate and verify the various capabilities of the engines while reducing operational risk.
During the May 20 test, the team fired the engine at 111% of its original power level for a set amount of time, the same level RS-25 engines are expected to run during launch. SLS is the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA and the only one capable of sending Orion, astronauts and supplies to the moon in a single mission.
As part of the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon and establish sustainable exploration for missions to Mars. The SLS and NASA Orion spacecraft, along with the commercial human landing system and the Moon-orbiting Gateway outpost, are the backbone of NASA’s exploration of the deep space.
RS-25 tests at Stennis are being conducted by a combined team of operators NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Syncom Space Services. Syncom Space Services is the prime contractor for Stennis’ facilities and operations.
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Pangea Aerospace tests an aerospike rocket engine
Brussels, Belgium (SPX) May 20, 2021
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