NASA has recently began assembling the boosters that will be attached to Space Launch System (SLS), a rocket which NASA claim will be ‘the most powerful rocket ever built.’ The SLS will be used to power the first Artemis mission to the Moon.
The purpose behind both the test and assembly was to evaluate the different materials and processes, which will be used to improve rocket boosters for use on missions after Artemis III. In particular, NASA and Northrop Grumman, the SLS booster lead contractor will use the data gathered from this latest test to evaluate the motor’s performance, and the potential of using new materials and processes in future boosters.
The test involved firing up the five-segment flight support booster for a little over two minutes, which is the same amount of that the booster will be active during lift-off and flight for each Artemis mission. During the test, the five-segment flight support booster managed to produce a whopping 3 million pounds of thrust.
Today @NASA and @northropgrumman successfully tested a new solid rocket booster for NASA’s SLS. What a show! The exhaust gases are so hot, they turned the sand to glass! Two boosters will supply 70% of the required thrust during the launch sending @nasaastronauts to the Moon! 🌘 pic.twitter.com/L7H5ATd66M
— Bob “Farmer” Hines (@Astro_FarmerBob) September 3, 2020
“NASA is simultaneously making progress on assembling and manufacturing the solid rocket boosters for the first three Artemis missions and looking ahead toward missions beyond the initial Moon landing,” said John Honeycutt, the SLS Program Manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
“Today marks the first flight support booster test to confirm the rocket motor’s performance using potential new materials for Artemis IV and beyond,” he added.
Take a look at the Booster test below:
Image credit: twitter/ @NASA