NASA Television will broadcast live coverage Thursday, Aug. 13 of the penultimate hot fire test of an RS-25 engine. This is one of four engines that will power the core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS), and carry the agency’s Orion crew capsule as part of the journey to Mars and other deep space destinations.
From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT, NASA TV will broadcast a series of conversations at Stennis among media, social media followers, engineers and managers discussing the SLS rocket, Orion, ground systems, and the RS-25 engine. Viewers can ask questions via social media using the hashtag #askNASA.
Coverage of the 5 p.m. engine test will begin at 4:30 p.m. The test will last 535 seconds, the amount of time the engines will fire during an actual launch. Both programs can be viewed on NASA TV-1, the public channel for the space agency, and NASA TV-2, the education channel.
The test will take place on the historic A-1 test stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and is part of a series designed to put the upgraded former space shuttle main engines through the rigorous temperature and pressure conditions they will experience during a launch.
The tests also support the development of a new controller, or “brain,” for the engine, which monitors engine status and communicates between the vehicle and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the vehicle. The controller also provides closed-loop management of the engine by regulating the thrust and fuel mixture ratio while monitoring the engine’s health and status.
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Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.