RS-25 development engine test fire at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Yesterday’s test fire, the fourth in the first series of seven planned test fires, ran for 650-seconds, the longest SLS RS-25 test fire yet. Four RS-25 engines will power the core stage of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. Credits: NASA/Stennis
The pace of Space Launch System (SLS) development engine test firing is in full swing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, as NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne completed their longest SLS main engine test fire to date on June 25. Secured tightly on the historic A-1 test stand, SLS development engine #0525 came roaring to life for 650-seconds, a full 150-seconds longer than it’s previous test fire on June 11, sending a thunderous roar across Stennis as the engine successfully carried out its fourth test fire for the colossal 320-foot tall rocket which will launch astronauts to destinations farther from home than any human in history has ever been over the coming decades.
“While we are using proven space shuttle hardware with these engines, SLS will have different performance requirements,” said Steve Wofford, manager of the SLS Liquid Engines Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Marshall Center manages the SLS Program for the agency. “That’s why we are testing them again. This is a whole new ballgame — we need way more power for these engines to be able to go farther than ever before when it comes to human exploration. And we believe the modifications we’ve made to these engines can do just that.”