NASA has high hopes for 2021, With one of its main targets to launch Artemis I, an unmanned lunar mission aimed to show the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System missile that could send humans to our lunar neighbor. But first, NASA plans to make a noise with this month’s fiery SLS test.
NASA is nearing the end of its Green Run test series that puts the base stage — which the agency describes as «the backbone of an SLS missile» — through its paces before it actually takes off from this rock at some point in the future.
The eighth and final part of the test series could happen around January 17th when NASA starts an exciting hot fire.
«The upcoming shooting test will fire all four stage RS-25 engines simultaneously for up to eight minutes to simulate base stage performance during launch,» NASA said in a statement Tuesday.
SLS experienced delays While developing it, it is still at the center of NASA’s ambitious plans to return humans to the moon by 2024 through the Artemis program. Report from last year This history calls into question Based on program costs, SLS setbacks, and scheduling impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
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Test fires are so much fun, as we saw last year when it was The SLS booster lit up the Utah Desert And sand turned into glass.
The SLS Green Run test will take place at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, 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. Two huge tanks in the SLS base stage and discharged from it. «
The rehearsal was cut off a little early, but NASA tracked the problem down to a timing issue that was later corrected that shouldn’t affect the hot fire. If all goes well, NASA will remain on track for a possible launch of Artemis 1 in late 2021.
Each successful test brings the moon a little closer within human reach.