NASA Successfully Tests the Engine That Will Take Us to Mars
NASA tests the engine for the most powerful rocket ever built, designed for deep-space missions.
NASA carried out a third successful test of the RS-25 rocket engine, which will be part of its giant new Space Launch System (SLS) deep-space rocket. The test was conducted at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and lasted 7.5 minutes, with no issues arising.
Space shuttle astronaut Rick Mastracchio expressed excitement over the new space vehicle at the press conference:
"SLS is going to be the most powerful rocket ever built when it's done several years from now. It's going to have to throw up all this hardware into low Earth orbit so we can then take it to the Moon and beyond, all the way to Mars.”
The RS-25 rocket engines, built by Aerojet Rocketdyne, have powered 135 low-Earth orbit space shuttle missions over 30 years. But the engines are being tweaked to reach higher performance levels required by the SLS.
The SLS will be outfitted with four such engines and supercharged by two five-segment boosters.
Check out this video of the test:
Besides seeing how the engines perform when fired at higher levels, according to NASA, the tests are also collecting data on the work of a new engine controller unit or “brain” for the engine, which is responsible for controlling internal engine functions and enabling “proper communication between the SLS and the engine.”
Three more tests are upcoming in the next months, while the SLS will have an unmanned test flight with the Orion spacecraft in September 2018. The Orion crew capsule is designed to carry four astronauts.
Steve Wofford, manager of the SLS Liquid Engines Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, elaborated on the tests in an interview with Universe Today:
"We continue this test series in the fall. Which is a continuing part of our certification series to fly these engines on NASA's SLS vehicle. Today's test was mostly about wringing out the new control system. We have a new engine controller on this engine. And we have to certify that new controller for flight."
The SLS will be higher than the Statue of Liberty and will be able to carry more than twice the payload of any of NASA former space shuttles.
Providing more details about the boosters, NASA explained that they are designed to work with the main engines for the first 2 minutes of flight, providing more than 75% of the thrust necessary to break from Earth’s gravitational pull. Oh and they will be about 17 stories high each, will be burning through 5 tonnes of propellant per second to create 3.6 million pounds of thrust. Talk about massive.
You want to meet the rocket? Here’s a helpful presentation from NASA:
And here's more about the RS-25 engine:
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.
- Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
- Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
- Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.