|STENNIS SPACE CENTER TEST STAND PASSES HISTORIC MARK|
Water vapor billows from the A-1 Test Stand at NASA Stennis Space Center today during SSC's 1,000th test of a space shuttle main engine on that test stand. SSC engineers began testing SSMEs in 1975, and since that time have tested every one of the complex engines that power the space shuttle. Mounted on the space shuttle and fueled by super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the three SSMEs exert the 1,254,000 pounds of thrust required to lift the shuttle into orbit. Set to retire in 2010, the space shuttle will be replaced by NASA's new crew and cargo launch vehicles, the Ares I and Ares V. In October, SSC will temporarily decommission its A-1 Test Stand to modify it to begin testing engines for the new spacecraft that will replace the shuttle.