NASA begins new moon rocket engine tests, still evaluating if another Green Run test will happen
NASA continues to test the RS-25 engines that will send astronauts atop the Artemis rocket, known as the Space Launch System, to the moon. [Watch the rocket engine test at the top of this story]NASA says the tests will provide important data for Aerojet Rocketdyne as the contractor begins building new RS-25 engines for future SLS flights. LIVE: Watch an RS-25 engine that will help power our @NASA_SLS rocket on future missions to the Moon and Mars come alive at @NASAStennis. At this rate, the 212-foot core stage made by Boeing is down to about six “tanks” on its lifespan. In a news release regarding the RS-25 engine testing, NASA said the Green Run team continues to evaluate if a second hot fire test of the core stage is required.
NASA might not repeat test of moon rocket to preserve it for launch later this year
The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a hot fire test Jan. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. NASA attributed the automatic shutdown to the strict test limits meant to protect the core stage so it can be used on the first Artemis flight. At this rate, the 212-foot core stage made by Boeing is down to about six “tanks” on its lifespan. President-elect Joe Biden has yet to name who will lead the space agency through a critical time in the ambitious timeline to return to the lunar surface. The outgoing administrator did have some advice for whoever next leads the U.S. space agency, urging the next agency head to keep politics out of space exploration.
Blue Origin readies for first New Shepard flight in months to test moon landing tech
Blue Origin is preparing to launch its New Shepard rocket to the edge of space from the company’s West Texas launch site, marking the seventh consecutive flight for this launch vehicle. Blue Origin last launched New Shepard in December. The first launch in nine months comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as more testing and growth at Blue Origin. On this flight, Blue Origin’s rocket will carry technology for NASA designed to enable future moon landings. ET Thursday but after a short weather delay, Blue Origin scrubbed the launch attempt due to a power supply issue for the experiments on board.