Northern Utah will host the world’s largest rocket test. This is the second phase of a test for the five segment, 55 metre long rocket. Four segment rockets have been used for space transport for decades, and now it’s time for the improved version to take their place.
On-lookers will be able to watch the test, from a viewing position located two kilometres away from the main test area, near the Orbital Promontory. The test launch will be broadcasted live by NASA.
The test will check whether the systems are set to go and in good condition. The test has dozens of design objectives and hundreds of data collecting channels.
After the test, there will be a media conference held by NASA, with focus on the results of the booster test. The first such full scale test took place in 2015 and went smoothly.
The rocket, dubbed SLS, is going to be versatile enough to endure different weather conditions and to transport crew and equipment to the International Space Station and beyond.
The Government hopes that someday, this type of rocket will transport crew to Mars. The first SLS launch will take place in 2018.
On the outside, nothing looks changed. However the inside is a completely different story. This new version of the rocket is lighter than its’ predecessors, has more environmentaly friendly fuel – without asbestos, an updated nozzle and completely transformed avionics.
The solid fuel is produced at the same plant that made fuel for the Shuttle program. The ingredients are mixed in huge bowls which look like a big-size kitchen mixer. Unlike cooking at home, mixing the components has more explosive potential.
The rocket will generate huge velocity and power. The two boosters will give out almost 8 billion pounds of thrust. NASA engineers want to put the rocket into orbit, beyond Earth’s magnetic field, past the GPS System and past the Satellites.
If everything goes well, the test will bring the Mars Expedition one step closer to reality. Though there’s more than just a rocket test happening at NASA headquarters.
The Heroes and Legends exhibit will be opening tomorrow. It will feature heroic journeys by brave astronauts, making the visitors feel part of the story. The building will also host a Hall of Fame for Astronauts.
Image Source – Wikipedia