NASA began the final certification series for its Artemis lunar rocket engines with exciting “hot fire” testing this week.
NASA He’ll start with a reused RS-25 Space ship Engines for astronauts to fly the moon With l Artemis program. The new hot-fire series, which begins on Wednesday (October 17), then aims to continue certification of an updated line of RS-25 engines that will begin flying on the Artemis 5 mission in late 2020. Four RS-25s power the core stage To each their own Space launch system The SLS rocket, a key piece of Artemis’ hardware.
The RS-25 development design for the E0525 engine passed its first hot fire on Wednesday, kicking off an ambitious series of 12 tests planned through 2024. “The test series will collect data on the performance of several key new engine components, including the nozzle, hydraulic system actuators, flexible ducts and pumps.” Turboprop,” NASA officials said he wrote in an October 3 update.
Each Hotfire series puts a different RS-25 engine through its paces; Another RS-25 was certified in June after its set of 12 tests.
Related: Watch NASA test fire a new and improved Artemis lunar rocket engine (video)
Live footage from NASA Stennis Space Center A trial in Mississippi showed smoke and fire successfully pouring out of the RS-25 for 550 seconds (more than nine minutes), the full duration planned for Wednesday’s test. The testing involved raising power to the level required during a normal SLS launch. The duration was slightly longer than the nominal SLS primary stage burn, which lasts 500 seconds.
The tests will help certify SLS missions starting with Artemis 5, which won’t fly before 2029 but could continue into the 2030s depending on progress on previous missions. Artemis 2 It will carry four astronauts around the moon in 2024, while… Artemis 3 It aims to land astronauts near the south pole of the moon in late 2025 or 2026, provided SpaceX‘s Starship The landing system is ready in time. Artemis 4 will attempt to land again in 2028.
The prime contractor for the SLS engines is Aerojet Rocketdyne’s L3Harris Technologies company, while Boeing is building the SLS.
The engines aren’t the only thing being tested for future missions. For example, in September, engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, completed testing of the subbooster engine. The SLS uses dual solid rocket boosters to provide additional thrust during takeoff. The test tests an alternative booster design for missions beyond Artemis 8.
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