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Wednesday, June 17, 2015
NASA Completes Third Hot Fire Test of SLS Engine (Video)
As reported by Aerospace Technology.com: Nasa has completed the third hot fire test of an RS-25 engine of the Space Launch System (SLS) at its Stennis Space Center near Bay St Louis, Mississippi, US.
The agency has fired the engine for up to 500 seconds.
SLS is Nasa's new rocket, which is being designed to send astronauts on future missions beyond Earth's orbit at speeds of 17,500 mph. It will be equipped with four RS-25 engines.
Nasa Marshall Space Flight Center SLS liquid engines office manager Steve Wofford said: "While we are using proven space shuttle hardware with these engines, SLS will have different performance requirements.
"That's why we are testing them again. This is a whole new ballgame, we need way more power for these engines to be able to go farther than ever before when it comes to human exploration."
Nasa conducted the first RS-25 test in the series on 9 January, and the second test on 28 May. The agency is preparing to conduct four more tests as part of the current development engine.
"We need way more power for these engines to be able to go farther than ever before when it comes to human exploration."
The tests are designed to demonstrate the performance of the engines with colder liquid oxygen temperatures, greater inlet pressure and higher vehicle acceleration, more nozzle heating, and its position with the SLS booster exhaust nozzles.
During the tests, the new ablative insulation and heaters will also be evaluated.
"We have several objectives that will be accomplished during this test series, which will provide critical data on the new engine controller unit, materials and engine propellant inlet pressure conditions," Wofford added.
Sacramento, California-based Aerojet Rocketdyne serves as the prime contractor for the RS-25 engine program.
Designated Exploration Mission 1, the SLS first test flight will have 77t lift capacity, and will carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit. Going forward, it will be enhanced with lift capability of 143t to facilitate missions even farther into solar system to destinations such as Mars.