NASA conducted the first hot fire test yesterday in a new series of tests for production of RS-25 engines that will help power the agency’s SLS rocket on future deep space missions. The test of RS-25 developmental engine on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, marks the beginning of a seven-test series designed to provide valuable data to the lead contractor for SLS engines.
Four RS-25 engines help power SLS at launch, firing simultaneously to generate a combined 1.6 million pounds of thrust at launch and 2 million pounds of thrust during ascent. For the Jan. 28 test, the RS-25 developmental engine was fired for a full duration of about eight-and-a-half minutes, the same amount of time the engines must fire to help send SLS to orbit.
The hot fire marks the first test on the historic stand since April 2019, when NASA concluded testing of RS-25 engines for the first four SLS missions. Initial SLS missions will fly to the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program, including the Artemis I uncrewed test flight this year that will pave the way for future flights with astronauts to explore the lunar surface and prepare for missions to Mars.