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Artist rendering of the RS-25 engines powering the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the pad.
RS-25 Engines Power Space Launch System

Artist rendering of the RS-25 engines and boosters powering the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the pad. Engineers will use scale models of the SLS propulsion system to understand heating environments that the base of the vehicle will experience upon ascent. Data from tests on those models will be used for the design of the rocket's base thermal protection system, which keeps major hardware, wiring and -- later -- crew safe from the extreme heat the boosters and engines create when ignited.

(Note: artist concept current as of March 5, 2014)

Image credit: NASA

› Alternate image: RS-25 engine test firing

Page Last Updated: March 5th, 2014
Page Editor: Brooke Boen