In an initiative to make future missions to the red planet successful, NASA recently launched an experimental rocket engine, which would be used to power future spacecraft to Mars and to other regions that are far off in our galaxy. The success of the launch was announced on Friday by the American space agency.
As an integral part of the Space Launch System (SLS) program, NASA had developed RS-25 rocket engine that was tested on Thursday, the high-powered device blast continuously for 500 seconds. Another rocket would be tested by NASA in near future.
“What a great moment for NASA and Stennis. We have exciting days ahead with a return to deep space and a journey to Mars, and this test is a very big step in that direction”, said Director Rick Gilbrech of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The system will be sufficient enough to propel a new four-rocket spacecraft into deeper regions of space.
Earlier, NASA had launched flight engines from Space Shuttle Program as part of SLS missions. These old rockets had propelled 135 space shuttle missions for the space agency from 1981 to 2011. On the other hand, the new spacecraft recently launched by NASA can fire thrust levels of up to 109%. In addition, on using the spacecraft along with four rockets, the combination would give the vehicle as much as 2 million pounds of thrust.
In order to do the test for RS-25 rocket blast, NASA worked with rocket manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne in 2015. Rocketdyne validated the capabilities of the rocket engine’s new controller. Aerojet Rocketdyne identified various operating conditions that would be needed to create SLS spacecraft.