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How NASA can watch its massive SLS moon rocket fire on Saturday



The latest SLS Green Run tests take place at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

NASA

NASA has big dreams for 2021. One of the main goals is to launch Artemis I, an unmanned lunar mission intended to demonstrate that the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket can safely send humans to our lunar neighbor. But first, NASA plans to make some noise on Saturday with a fiery SLS test.

NASA is nearing the end of the Green Run test series that will put the nuclear phase ̵

1; which the agency describes as “the backbone of the SLS rocket” – to the test before actually launching off this rock sometime in the future.

The eighth and final part of the test series is scheduled for Saturday, January 16, when NASA initiates an exciting hot fire. NASA TV will provide live coverage starting at 1:20 p.m. PT. The two-hour test windows open at 2 p.m.

“The upcoming hot fire test will fire all four RS-25 engines on the stage for up to eight minutes simultaneously to simulate the performance of the core stage during launch,” NASA said in a statement Jan. 5.

SLS has seen delays during development, but it is still at the heart of NASA’s ambitious plans to return humans to the moon through the Artemis program by 2024. A report from last year calls that date into question based on the cost of the program, the SLS setbacks and the planning effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Test fires are a lot of fun, as we saw one last year SLS booster lit up the Utah desert and turned sand into glass.

The SLS Green Run test will take place at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, and it comes after NASA fixed an unexpected problem with an earlier test, a wet dress rehearsal that “ marked the first time it became cryogenic, or super cold, liquid propellant. fully loaded into and discharged from the two immense tanks of the SLS nuclear stage. “

The wet dress rehearsal was cut short a little early, but NASA tracked the issue down to a timing issue that was later corrected that shouldn’t affect the hot fire. If all goes well, NASA is still on track for a possible launch of Artemis I in late 2021.

Each successful test puts the moon a little closer to human hands.


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