NASA He performed a hot fire in the base stage of the Space Launch System, but the stage’s four main engines stalled after just one minute in a designed 8-minute test.
Eight minutes is the same amount of time it takes to launch future missions to the moon.
The experiment was a vital step for NASA’s long-awaited Space Launch System. SLS will play a major role in the agency’s Artemis program to return American astronauts to the moon before 2024.
The primary stage ignited the four RS-25 engines at 5:27 pm at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
It was not immediately clear what caused the engines to shut down. In a briefing last week, NASA officials and officials from Boeing, the main contractor for the SLS system, said they needed a static fire test of at least 250 seconds to collect the required data.
“If we have an early shutdown for whatever reason, we’re getting all the engineering data we need to get high confidence in the car in about 250 seconds,” said John Shannon, vice president and director of the SLS program at Boeing. Space News.
About 1,400 sensors monitored the heart for vibration, temperature, acoustics, and pressure.
NASA said in a statement that the program “acted appropriately” and completed the testing.
“At this point, the test was fully automatic. During the shooting, the software on board behaved appropriately and proceeded to safely shut down the engine,” the statement reads.
The SLS was originally set to start its journey for the first time in 2017, but it has suffered from delays and budget shortfalls.