The U.S. Space Authority shared a video showing the fuel tank explosion of a promising superheavy SLS carrier as part of a test of its technical characteristics.
On June 22, the test version of the liquid oxygen tank was deliberately brought to the limit of its strength characteristics as part of the SLS carrier test program. Tests were conducted at the Marshall Space Center, a research organization based in Huntsville, Alabama. The tests are designed to assess the structural limits of the rocket: the values achieved during the tests were significantly higher than those that the working version of the Space Launch System should face.
Component parts of the carrier have been repeatedly tested before. “Engineers tested the four designs that make up the bulk of the 65-meter main rocket stage, as well as the designs that make up the entire top of the rocket”, NASA said in a statement. “The final test completes an almost three-year series of structural tests”.
Successful tests bring the long-awaited moment of the first launch of the SLS rocket. Recall, they want to spend it in the second half of 2021. Now, however, there are no guarantees that the launch will not be postponed to a later date: earlier it has already been postponed several times.
The Space Launch System is a super-heavy launch vehicle developed by Boeing for the benefit of the US space agency. She is seen as one of the main (if not the most important) tool for the implementation of the ambitious Artemis program, designed to return astronauts to the moon, and in the future to create a permanent base there. The debut launch of the SLS will be the part-time first launch in the history of Artemis. As part of Artemis 1, they must conduct an unmanned moon around with the help of the new Orion spacecraft: they intend to use it for manned missions in the future.
A manned flight to the moon with a satellite landing should take place as part of the Artemis 3 mission, tentatively scheduled for 2024. As during the first two flights, the Space Launch System will be the carrier.