NASA is working hard to take man to deep space and the efforts continue with a recent 535-second test of its Space Launch System (SLS) RS-25 rocket engine that’ll eventually take us to Mars. The test was conducted to collect engine performance data at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Space Launch System will launch astronauts in the Orion spacecraft headed to missions in deep space which will eventually become part of the journey to Mars.
Operators are conducting this new test series to qualify a completely new engine controller and put the upgraded former space shuttle engines through tough pressure and temperature conditions that they’re likely to experience on a SLS mission.
While testing of flight engines will start later this year in the fall during this series one final test of the RS-25 developmental engine is planned.
The initial 70-metric-ton SLS configuration will have four RS-25 engines for the core stage and two five-segment solid rocket boosters to provide more lift to orbit than any existing launch vehicle. This core stage for SLS and Orion integrated flight will also be tested at Stennis, all four RS-25 engines will be fired up during the launch just as they would on an actual mission.
The test was viewed by more than 1,200 people which included NASA and contractor employees along with their family members, community leaders, media and elected officials.