Be sure to watch NASA test fire the RS-25 engines for the rocket they are building to take humans to Mars. The engines are being tested at the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi August 13, live on NASA TV beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT. There will also be a NASA Social televised on NASA TV on the morning of August 13 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
The RS-25, previously known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), is being tested to ensure it can withstand the operational conditions of the Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle compared to when they were flown on the space shuttle.
According to Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advance Space and Launch business unit that builds the engine, “The RS-25 is truly a state of the art engine specifically designed for human space travel.”
A total of 16 RS-25 flight engines that previously flew on the space shuttle are stored at Stennis and currently undergoing hot-fire tests. The August 13 test is the sixth test in a seven engine test series that began in January 2015.
The test fire is an important milestone on the way to Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) in 2018 – the first flight for the SLS rocket. Four RS-25 engines built by Aerojet Rocketdyne in Los Angeles, CA and integrated at Stennis, MS will power the launch vehicle’s core stage, which is being built by Boeing in New Orleans, LA. Orbital ATK in Promontory, UT is providing the two five-segment boosters that will help launch the massive rocket out of Earth’s atmosphere. The first flight of SLS, EM-1, will also carry an un-crewed Orion capsule built by Lockheed Martin in Denver, CO.
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