NASA Continues Artemis Moon Rocket Engine Test Series

NASA conducted a full-duration RS-25 engine hot fire March 6, continuing a final round of certification testing for production of new engines to help power the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket on future Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond. The full-duration test on the Fred Haise Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, marked the ninth in a scheduled 12-test series. Engineers are collecting test data to certify an updated engine production process, using innovative manufacturing techniques, for lead engines contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company. During the March 6 test, Operators fired the certification engine for 10 minutes (600 seconds), longer than the amount of time needed to help launch the SLS rocket and send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft into orbit. The test team also fired the engine at power levels between 80% and 113% to test performance in multiple scenarios. Four RS-25 engines, along with a pair of solid rocket boosters, launch NASA’s powerful SLS rocket, producing more than 8.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff for Artemis missions. Through Artemis, NASA will establish the foundation for long-term scientific exploration at the Moon, land the first woman, first person of color, and first international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, and prepare for human expeditions to Mars for the benefit of all. RS-25 tests at NASA Stennis are conducted by a diverse team of operators from NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Syncom Space Services, prime contractor for site facilities and operations.

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