With NASA’s trip to Mars getting ever closer, the space agency is completing tests of the rocket parts that will soon send astronauts further than humankind has ever travelled before.
In preparation for the mission to the red planet, last week NASA successfully conducted the penultimate ‘hot fire’ test of its legendary RS–25 engine. The engine, sometimes nicknamed “the Ferrari of rocket engines” in reference to its awesome power and efficiency, was fired up for a 535-second test: the length of time it would take the RS–25 to propel the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket into space.
In this amount of time, the RS–25 generates about 232,000 kilograms (512,000 pounds) of thrust. According to Martin Burkey at NASA’s Rocketology blog, that’s equivalent to 12 million horsepower, with enough thrust to push 10 giant aircraft carriers around the ocean at almost 40 km/h (25 mph).
Last week’s test, the sixth in an ongoing series of engine evaluations, was conducted at the Stennis Space Centre in southern Mississippi in the US and should help NASA engineers collect valuable engine performance data. Source: NASA tests its “Ferrari of rocket engines” in preparation for Mars voyage