NASA continues testing redesigned engine for future Artemis missions

Agency first tested engine in December

A remote camera offers a close-up view of the RS-25 hot fire on the Fred Haise Test Stand at Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi on Feb. 8, 2023. (NASA / Stennis)

As NASA prepares for its future Artemis missions, the agency is continuing to test a redesigned engine for its mega moon rocket.

The RS-25 engine will help power the Space Launch System rocket, the most powerful rocket to ever launch, for the upcoming missions as part of the Artemis program.

The test fire is taking place Wednesday at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The first test of one of the engines happened in December.

According to NASA, these tests last about 8 1/2 minutes, the same amount of time needed to help launch the SLS rocket to space.

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“Four RS-25 engines fire simultaneously to generate a combined 1.6 million pounds of thrust at launch and 2 million pounds of thrust during ascent to help power each SLS flight,” the space agency said in a release.

Artemis is the long-awaited NASA program to take Americans back to the moon and possibly to Mars. After a successful uncrewed launch of Artemis I mission in November, the next mission will send a crew to orbit the moon. The third mission will aim to land on the moon.

Artemis II, scheduled for 2024, will send four astronauts into space for a 10-day mission.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.