After about a minute of ignition, the engines suddenly stopped.
Three years from now, the time has come: NASA wants to deliver the next man and first woman to the moon. American astronauts will fly through the sky on the Orion spacecraft. Additionally, NASA is working on a completely new launch system: Space Launch System (SLS). This new monster missile was tested last weekend. But this was not entirely according to plan …
During testing, all four of the main engines were turned on simultaneously for the first time. Then they should have worked for a little over eight minutes. This is roughly the time it takes for the rocket to be sent into space after launch. The team counted down and successfully lit the engines. But after a minute, all four engines suddenly stopped.
The team analyzed the data and found that an unexpected malfunction threw a spanner in the works. Despite this “failed” test, NASA has tested positive. “The fact that we’ve now lit all four engines simultaneously for the first time is a huge milestone for the team,” said John Honeycutt on behalf of NASA. We will now analyze the data further. What we have learned from the test will help us set the right course. “
Information was collected
Although final touches were still required, important data was collected during testing. “The test was a vital step forward in ensuring that the SLS missile is ready for the Artemis mission and carrying the crew on future missions,” said NASA President Jim Bridenstein. “Even though the engines didn’t run all the time, the team managed to count the countdown and lit the engines. As a result, they collected valuable data to make progress.”
More about SLS
The Space Launch System (SLS) is, as mentioned, the all-new Launch System from NASA and also the largest launch vehicle ever developed. The monster rocket has the ability to send astronauts further into space than ever before and enables manned missions to the moon, as well as asteroids and Mars. The astronauts are scheduled to be launched on the Orion spacecraft with the SLS during the Artemis mission. The upcoming Orion, SLS and Lunar Gateway will form the backbone of NASA’s further space exploration.
Meanwhile, the team has already completed several tests. The first was in January 2020, followed by seven others. In March, the team was forced to stop due to the coronavirus outbreak. Work resumed in May. Each test builds on the previous test, with increasing complexity to properly evaluate advanced systems. The current ignition of the four main engines was the last test in the series that was still in operation.
Despite the fact that the test did not completely go according to plan, the team does not view it as dissatisfied. They now plan to thoroughly check the four major engines before determining their next steps. “We will learn from the outage that has occurred, make any corrections and move forward,” concludes NASA’s Rick Gilbrich.
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