RS-25 Engine Throttles Up for Deep Space Exploration
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss.,
During today's 260-second hot fire test, the RS-25 engine throttled up to 113 percent of its original design thrust level. The first four flights of SLS will use engines that max out at 109 percent of rated thrust (these same engines operated at 104.5 percent rated thrust when flown on the Space Shuttle). New RS-25 engines developed under Aerojet Rocketdyne's restart program will baseline their thrust at 111 percent.
"Increased thrust requirements for the RS-25 are just one of the many changes in the SLS rocket's performance that will facilitate our nation's deep space exploration goals and objectives," said
The RS-25 is an updated version of the Space Shuttle Main Engine that helped power the Space Shuttle into space. There are 16 flight engines that will power the first four SLS flights in inventory at
"One of the key features of SLS is its versatility to support human and robotic missions, launching spacecraft, habitats and astronauts to a variety of deep space destinations," said
The latest RS-25 hot fire test also was the fourth involving an additively manufactured
The first SLS mission is scheduled for fiscal year 2020, when the rocket will blast off carrying an uncrewed version of NASA's Orion spacecraft on a mission beyond the Moon farther than any human-rated space
vehicle has ever traveled. The SLS-Orion combo is scheduled to fly a similar mission profile in the early 2020s, only this time with an astronaut crew on board.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/948b7bc6-62c9-4b27-983a-a11b9d345c2e
News Provided by Acquire Media