ORLANDO, Fla. — NASA lit up all four engines on the massive core stage for the Artemis I rocket that will travel to the moon at the end 2021 but cut off the test after a minute into an eight-minute test.
The burn took place after 5 p.m. with the stage hooked up in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
The hot fire was aiming to simulate the thrust the core stage of the Space Launch System rocket, generating 1.6 million pounds burning through more than 700,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen for more than eight minutes.
But NASA shut it down after just a minute. A briefing on the test was expected later Saturday.
It’s the eighth and final test in the series of Green Run tests for the core stage since arriving to Stennis. Once completed, NASA will analyze data to confirm the core stage is ready to fly, refurbish it to some degree and then ship it to Kennedy Space Center.
If all goes well, that will happen in February as NASA is still targeting November 2021 for launch of the Artemis I.
Once at KSC, the 212-foot-tall core stage will be stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building with the rest of the SLS components including the external boosters and Orion capsule already on site.
The core stage, the product of primary contractor Boeing with its four RS-25 engines refurbished by Aerojet Rocketdyne from the Space Shuttle program will be combined with two side boosters from NASA partner Northrop Grumman that together will produce about 8.8 million pounds of thrust, making it the most powerful rocket to launch from Earth.
Artemis I will be an uncrewed mission to the moon, but actually traveling farther from Earth than any ship ever built for humans has ever flown before, about 280,000 miles away.
NASA’s SLS schedule still has Artemis I as early as November with Artemis II, a crewed mission around the moon without landing, by 2023 and then a 2024 flight that aims to put the first woman on the moon. Those targets, though, were part of the Trump administration’s push and could change under the new Biden administration.
This article is written by Richard Tribou from The Orlando Sentinel and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.