NASA readies next-gen engines for deeper space missions

Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) NASA has successfully completed the first developmental test series on “super” engines that will power its mega Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on missions deeper into space than ever before, including Mars.

The test series wrapped up with a seventh hot fire test of a developmental RS-25 engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St Louis, Mississippi, on Thursday.

The test ran for a full-duration of 535 seconds.

“The completion of this test series is an important step in getting SLS ready for the journey to Mars,” said Steve Wofford, engines manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in a statement.

The RS-25 engine gives 77-tonnes SLS a proven, high performance and affordable main propulsion system.

“It is one of the most experienced large rocket engines in the world, with more than a million seconds of ground test and flight operations time,” he added.

The test series was designed to collect valuable data on performance of the RS-25 engine.

Of particular interest is data that will aid in development of a new engine controller, or “brain” to monitor engine status and communicate programmed performance needs.

“These are extremely reliable engines. We are testing them because we want to mitigate any risks on the ground before flight,” Wofford noted.

Four RS-25 engines will help power the SLS core stage during launch.

Firing simultaneously at 109 percent of its operating level, the engines will provide approximately two million pounds of thrust.

The engines will operate in conjunction with a pair of five-segment solid rocket boosters for a total of 8.4 million pounds of thrust to lift the SLS off the launch pad.

The SLS eventually will evolve to a 143-tonnes configuration that will enable missions to such deep space destinations as an asteroid and Mars.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here