Washington: The US space agency NASA has on Thursday succesfully completed the first developmental test series on the RS-25 rocket engine that will power the upcoming Space Launch System (SLS).
According to NASA, the test series wrapped up with a seventh hot fire test of the RS-25 engine, in which the engine burned for 535 seconds.
According to NASA, the test series wrapped up with a seventh hot fire test of a developmental RS-25 engine on the A-1 Test Stand, in which the engine burned for a full-duration 535 seconds.
The tests were carried out at the NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
“The completion of this test series is an important step in getting SLS ready for the journey to Mars,” said Steve Wofford, engines manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the SLS Program is managed for the agency.
“The RS-25 engine gives SLS a proven, high performance, affordable main propulsion system. It is one of the most experienced large rocket engines in the world, with more than a million seconds of ground test and flight operations time.”
Previously known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), RS-25 testing resumed in January with development engine 0525 in the A-1 test stand at Stennis.
The series was designed to collect valuable data on performance of the RS-25 engine, a former space shuttle main engine operating at higher thrust levels in order to provide the power needed for the SLS vehicle. Of particular interest is data that will aid in development of a new engine controller, or “brain,” to monitor engine status and communicate programmed performance needs, said NASA.
In preparation for the first SLS flights, another round of RS-25 tests will begin at Stennis this fall.
The B-2 Test Stand at Stennis is being renovated to conduct tests on the SLS flight core stage, which will involve installing the flight stage on the stand and firing its four RS-25 engines simultaneously, just as during an actual launch.