Stunning video shows NASA testing a solid-fuel booster for its most powerful rocket ever — which is set to send the first woman to the moon.
The engine produced more than 3 million pounds of thrust during the rare, full-scale test that lasted a little more than two minutes, NASA said.
Video posted online by space.com shows a huge flame shooting out of the engine and a massive amount of smoke billowing across the desert landscape in Promontory, Utah.
Steam rose from the scorched earth for several minutes after Wednesday’s test concluded, the site said.
The Flight Support Booster-1 engine is part of the Space Launch System rocket that will power NASA’s first Artemis mission to the moon.
NASA plans to land the first woman and next man on the heavenly body by 2024 as part of an effort to expand space exploration and eventually send humans to Mars.
The SLS is the only rocket powerful enough to carry the Artemis program’s Orion spacecraft, orbiting Gateway outpost, lunar lander, astronauts and supplies at the same time, according to NASA.
“NASA is simultaneously making progress on assembling and manufacturing the solid rocket boosters for the first three Artemis missions and looking ahead toward missions beyond the initial moon landing,” SLS program manager John Honeycutt said following the FSB-1 test.
No one has set foot on the moon since astronaut Eugene Cernan, commander of NASA’s Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.
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World news – GB – Stunning video shows test for NASA’s most powerful rocket ever