There is nothing like a big rocket booster that does its thing, spits flames and rages against gravity. Before these animals go into space, they must undergo extensive tests on the ground. On Wednesday, NASA will stream one of these important tests for its powerful Space Launch System (SLS) booster.
SLS is under development as NASA̵7;s planned workhorse rocket for its . The agency follows a tight deadline in 2024 to return people to our favorite near space rock.
NASA TV will go live from the Northrop Grumman facilities in Promontory, Utah, where a full-scale SLS booster is on its side. The feeding is scheduled to start at 11:45 PT on Wednesday 2 September.
This Flight Support Booster-1 test has the primary goal of confirming “engine performance and manufacturing quality for potential new materials and processes,” the space agency said. NASA is already looking beyond the moon for how to launch missions deeper into space, including missions to Mars.
We can expect a fiery show during a two minute test. As NASA noted, “SLS rocket launchers are the largest, most powerful flight ever built for flight.” The agency also pointed out how the exhaust fumes from these tests “are so hot that it turns the desert into glass.”
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SLS will be equipped with dual boosters that will pack a lot during launch. NASA hopes to put the system through its paces with the undescribed Artemis 1 test flight that will ferry an Orion capsule around the moon. The agency has not yet set a date for the launch, but it will not happen before the end of 2021.
In the meantime, we can enjoy the pomp and circumstance of this latest SLS test.