The following is an excerpt from James Rogers | July 25, 2017 | Foxnews.com |
NASA engineers tested the RS-25 rocket engine, which will play a crucial role in eventual missions to Mars, on Tuesday.
The test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi is the latest in a series of RS-25 firings.
The forthcoming Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will be powered by four R2-25 engines firing simultaneously. The RS-25s will provide 2 million pounds of thrust, according to NASA and will work in conjunction with a pair of solid rocket boosters, which provide an additional 6.8 million pounds of thrust.
The first unmanned flight of the heavy-lift SLS - a trip around the moon - was scheduled for 2018, but was recently pushed back to 2019, Space.com reports. A crewed mission was expected to take place in 2021, but it has also been pushed back. NASA said there will be a minimum of 33 months between the unmanned and crewed missions.
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