NASA tested out its newly developed RS-25 rocket engine at its own Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
It marks the third successful test of the RS-25 rocket engine that is developed by NASA. It is expected that it will have three more succeeding tests over the course of the next few months, to prepare for the potential mission of sending the first humans to the red planet, Mars.
The very high-tech new super booster will be used for NASA's new project, the Space Launch System (SLS). Rick Mastracchio, a NASA space shuttle astronaut, tells on a press con held at the Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi that the "SLS is going to be the most powerful rocket ever built when it's done several years from now,"
He adds: "It's going to have to throw up all this hardware into low-Earth orbit so we can then take it to the Moon and beyond, all the way to Mars."
NASA explained its process, telling that the robust five-segment boosters will work in rhythm with the main engines for its first 2 minutes of flight, giving 75 per cent of thrust that is enough to break off with the Earth's strong gravitational pull.
The SLS and the Orion will be the first two projects that will send humans further into the depths of space. However, things might not be suddenly jumped into, as it will have another unmanned test flight on September 2018.
Last Thursday, the prototype engine was fired for 420 seconds, making it the third successful try. Once completed in a few years, the stakes of sending the first human to the red planet, Mars, will surely be very high. Hopefully, things go as planned.
With NASA well on its way to building the most impressive rocket humanity has ever seen, and partnering with private space companies SpaceX and Boeing to get all hands on deck, Mars truly is right within our grasp.