After a the hot fire test in january ended prematurely, NASA decided it needed more data on the rocket’s center stage than it planned to use for missions to the moon. So today at the Stennis Space Center, the four RS-25 engines fired for 499.6 seconds, simulating what they will experience on each trip to the moon for the Artemis space program by accelerating up and down and switching to direct thrust.
In a statement, Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said: “Today’s hot fire test of the SLS central stage is an important step in NASA’s goal of bringing back the humans on the lunar surface – and beyond. Then the main stage will go to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida where the assembly will begin to prepare to integrate it into Artemis I. And that cannot happen soon enough, because the Space Launch System Project is already years behind the original 2019 launch screening.