HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - If all goes well on Feb. 25, more cheers and that high decibel roar from four RS-25 engines will again echo across South Mississippi.
NASA’s last green hot run fire test on Jan. 16 at Stennis Space Center was supposed to run for eight minutes, but instead shut down only 67 seconds into the burn. Despite that setback, 15 terabytes worth of valuable data was collected, and they said it was a ‘successful initiation of the engines.’
“The teams looked at the data from the first test and refined some test parameters and they’ve been preparing the hardware for this upcoming hot fire test,” said John Honeycutt, SLS program manager. “This is a generational opportunity to learn as much as we can about the rocket while we have it in it’s testing configuration.”
This time NASA wants the burn to run the entire eight minutes, but they said if they can get the test to at least make it to the four minute mark, that should be long enough to close the book on the Green Run series and give NASA the green light to move on with the Artemis program.
“In our hot fire tests, we specifically have 10 DVO’s or Detail Verification Objectives,” said Julie Bassler, SLS stages manager. “Really what we’re looking for is data that we confirm that the design itself is ready for all future missions of the Artemis program.”
During the Jan. 16 test, NASA revealed only three of those Detail Verification Objectives were met, with six others sending partial data, and one collecting no data at all.
A successful test on Feb. 25 means the SLS Core Stage would be ferried to Cape Canaveral, where it will be teamed with the Orion spacecraft for an unmanned mission to the Moon that could come later this year.