Stennis rocket engine test put on hold - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Stennis rocket engine test put on hold

NASA tests the rocket engine like that which will launch the new Orion space ship. (Photo source: WLOX) NASA tests the rocket engine like that which will launch the new Orion space ship. (Photo source: WLOX)
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, MS (WLOX) -

The excitement over a rocket engine test at Stennis Space Center died down when the test was put on hold Tuesday afternoon. Officials tell us an apparent problem with fuel inlet pressure caused the delay.

Scientists were evaluating the controller that operates the RS-25 engine in the test. The controller is the “brain” that operates the engine and will allow it to communicate with NASA’s Space Launch System. NASA says the SLS is the most powerful rocket in the world.

Earlier this year, engineers and scientists tested out the first engine controller in a 500-second test at Stennis. After Tuesday’s test, there will be two more engine controllers to try out. Those tests are scheduled to happen later this year.

After a successful test, the engine controllers are installed on one of the four engines that will power the SLS and Orion spacecraft. Each engine will provide 500,000 pounds of trust to send the rocket into deep space.

The RS-25 engines that will power the SLS were used as space shuttle main engines from 1981 to 2011. The engines have since been extensively upgraded and modified to operate with the new engine controllers.

NASA hopes the SLS will carry astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.

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