Can a rocket maneuver like an airplane? And can an airplane act as a surrogate for a maneuvering rocket? NASA engineers demonstrated just that when they used a NASA F/A-18 aircraft recently to simulate a rocket in its early flight phase to test adaptive software for NASA’s new rocket the Space Launch System (SLS), the largest, most powerful launch vehicle for deep space missions.
The tests are helping engineers working on the development of the SLS at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., ensure the rocket can adjust to the environment it faces as it makes its way to space.
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