NASA successfully completed the second hot fire test of the core stage of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on Thursday at Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The rocket’s four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines fired for 8 minutes and 19 seconds while running through a series of operational conditions designed to simulate a launch. As previously reported by AVweb, the rocket’s first hot fire test, conducted last January, was unexpectedly cut short.
“The SLS is an incredible feat of engineering and the only rocket capable of powering America’s next-generation missions that will place the first woman and the next man on the Moon,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “Today’s successful hot fire test of the core stage for the SLS is an important milestone in NASA’s goal to return humans to the lunar surface—and beyond.”
The test is the last step in the agency’s eight-part Green Run test campaign. According to NASA, the Boeing-built core stage will now be refurbished and shipped to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center for SLS assembly. Paired with the Orion spacecraft, the SLS is intended to serve as a platform for NASA’s Artemis program, which is aiming to conduct a crewed mission to the Moon by 2024.