NASA shows first test of a launch vehicle for a mission to the moon

The first test of a solid rocket for the Space Launch System (SLS) was shown by NASA during a two-minute hot fire test, Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at the Northrop Grumman T-97 Proving Ground in Promontory, Utah. The flight support booster is structurally identical to each of the five-segment solid-fuel boosters of the SLS rocket and provides more than 75% of the rocket thrust.

The Flight Support Accelerator (SLS) test builds on previous tests and will allow NASA and Northrop Grumman, the lead SLS accelerator contractor, to evaluate engine performance using potential new materials and processes for future engine performance.

NASA’s SLS space launch system will be the most powerful rocket the agency has ever built. SLS will allow astronauts to begin their journey to explore the distant locations of the solar system.

NASA is now working to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024. The SLS rocket, Orion spacecraft, airlock, and human landing system are part of NASA’s foundation for deep space exploration. The Artemis program is the next step in human space exploration. It is part of a broader US approach to Moon and Mars exploration in which astronauts will explore the Moon. The experience gained there will allow humanity to make the next giant leap: send people to Mars. The SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the moon in a single mission.

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