WASHINGTON: Nasa passed a major static test on its troubled Space Launch Space Rocket on Thursday, winning for the group as it prepares to return to the Moon.
The second “hot fire” test saw the rocket’s four RS-25 engines simultaneously at 4:40 pm Eastern time (2040 GMT) for eight minutes, producing 1.6 million pounds of effort ( 7.1 million). newtons).
“The proposal says a lot about how the team feels,” Bill Wrobel, the officer in charge of the test, said in a live stream after the control room began to crash.
“Looks very good right now,” he said.
“This is a major milestone toward our goals for Artemis,” acting Nasa Administrator Steve Jurczyk told reporters, referring to the lunar program.
Group prepares to return to the Moon
Nasa plans to launch the first woman on the Moon by 2024 and build a lunar orbital station, before embarking on a crew trip to Mars.
The success of the experiment came as a relief to the group after an earlier run involving a 212-foot (65-meter) high altitude at the Stennis Space Center near St. Louis Bay. Louis, Mississippi was cut short in January.
“We’ve had some challenges,” said Tom Whitmeyer, Nasa’s deputy liaison administrator in audit system development.
“I am so proud of the team with the way they have worked so well through these challenges. ”A test was needed on Thursday to gather data on how the main stage behaves in emergency activity such as thrust engines up and down and propagates them in a number of patterns.
The rocket tanks were filled with 700,000 gallons (2.6 million liters) of melting hydrogen and dissolved oxygen, and when fired they sent a huge chunk of water valve going up into the sky.
Engineers will analyze the data and determine if the platform is ready to be redecorated and transported by bar to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
There, it will be assembled along with the other parts of the SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule, which is being prepared for the Artemis I launched later this year – a mission without a chip.
The SLS program was delayed due to delays and overspending, and was initially expected to be operational in 2016.
Ars Technica said this week that Nasa was conducting an internal review of its accessibility.
Nasa said in August last year that the baseline development cost was $ 9.1 billion and the initial capacity of the ground systems was $ 2.4 billion.
It has also been criticized as a “program of works” for Nasa’s Space Marshall Flight Center in Alabama, as well as its main contractors Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Northrop Grumman.
While SLS is far more powerful than SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket that would be used to orbit satellites and deliver crews to the ISS, the Elon Musk company is also working on a prototype rocket called Starship capable of deep space exploration.
Starship’s last three test flights have ended in spectacular explosions, but analysts believe the mishaps could accelerate the spacecraft’s development, and ultimately make it an alternative to SLS.
Published in Dawn, March 20, 2021