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NASA’s Massive Artemis Moon Rocket Set for Second Hot Fire Test – Watch Live Coverage Today

NASA SLS Core Stage Hot Fire Green Run Test

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a hot fire test, Saturday, January 16, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The hot fire is the final test of the Green Run test series, a comprehensive assessment of the Space Launch System’s core stage prior to launching the Artemis I mission to the Moon. Credit: NASA Television

NASA is targeting a two-hour test window that opens at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday, March 18, for the second hot fire test of the core stage for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The agency plans to begin live coverage on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app approximately 30 minutes before the hot fire. The team will refine the timeline as it proceeds through operations. NASA will provide updates on the operations and the target hot fire time at @NASA and the Artemis blog.

On test day, engineers will power up all the core stage systems, load more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic, or supercold, propellant into the tanks, and fire the rocket’s four RS-25 engines at the same time to simulate the stage’s operation during launch, generating 1.6 million pounds of thrust.

A post-test briefing will follow on NASA Television approximately two hours after the test.

NASA SLS Green Run Checklist

Credit: NASA/Kevin O’Brien

The hot fire is the eighth and final test of the Green Run series to ensure the core stage of the SLS rocket is ready to launch Artemis missions to the Moon, beginning with Artemis I. The core stage includes the liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines, as well as the computers, electronics, and avionics that serve as the “brains” of the rocket.

SLS Core Stage Infographic

We need the biggest rocket stage ever built for the bold missions in deep space that NASA’s Space Launch System rocket will give us the capability to achieve. This infographic sums up everything you need to know about the SLS core stage, the 212-foot-tall stage that serves as the backbone of the most powerful rocket in the world. The core stage includes the liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank that hold 733,000 gallons of propellant to power the stage’s four RS-25 engines needed for liftoff and the journey to Mars. Credit: NASA/MSFC

The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will test the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA is working to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon to pave the way for sustainable exploration at the Moon and future missions to Mars.

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