NASA will make another attempt one month from now to test-fire its monstrous Space Launch System rocket after its first attempt was stopped, the office said Friday night.
The rocket’s 212-foot-tall core stage will attempt to fire its four engines for eight minutes at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The attempt is the last achievement “Green Run” test before the behemoth rocket gets sent to Florida for its presentation launch toward the moon.
Every one of the four of the rocket’s Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines ignited together for the first time earlier this month. However, what was planned to be aan eight minute test just endured barely a minute — a lot more limited runtime than what engineers expected to continue to Florida. The SLS core has been being developed for a decade, and has reliably been late and over budget.
“Conducting a second hot fire test will allow the team to repeat operations from the first hot fire test and obtain data on how the core stage and the engines perform over a longer period that simulates more activities during the rocket’s launch and ascent,” NASA said in a blog post late Friday night.
NASA is focusing on November for the SLS’s first launch, however the agency’s inspector general and the Government Accountability Office, the country’s greatest watchdog agency, say that is impossible. All things being equal, they demonstrated the launch will prone to slip into 2022. NASA remains publicly optimistic.
“It is still possible to launch Artemis I this year with this test in February,” NASA spokeswoman Kathryn Hambleton told The Verge.