Smoke & Fire! NASA Tests the World’s Most Powerful Rocket [Video]

NASA SLS Rocket RS-25 Engine Test

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage fired all four of its RS-25 engines on March 18th at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The core stage includes the liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines, and the computers, electronics, and avionics that serve as the “brains” of the rocket.

The hot fire was the final test of the Green Run series. The term “green” refers to the new hardware that will work together to power the stage, and “run” refers to operating all the components together simultaneously for the first time. For the test, the 212-foot core stage generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust, while anchored in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The hot fire test included loading 733,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen – mirroring the launch countdown procedure – and igniting the engines.

Second Hot Fire Test of SLS Rocket Core Stage

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a second hot fire test, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for the full-duration of 8 minutes during the test and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. The hot fire test is the final stage of the Green Run test series, a comprehensive assessment of the Space Launch System’s core stage prior to launching the Artemis I mission to the Moon. Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

Artemis I will be the first in series of increasingly complex missions, testing the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA is working to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon on a single mission.

Read Mega Moon Rocket Passes Key Test, Readies for Launch for more on this test of the SLS core stage.

41 Comments on "Smoke & Fire! NASA Tests the World’s Most Powerful Rocket [Video]"

  1. The 10th Man | March 20, 2021 at 6:56 am | Reply

    Seriously. How many more astronauts have to die before we stop letting NASA and its good old boy network continue to build half built rockets. What is it now…20+. You cannot hide from these murders.

    • Actually only 14 astronauts have died in flights on the shuttle and 3 in a test run with Apollo one. Not 20 plus, and none of it was murder. Crawl back in your cave and leave normal people alone.

      • Freeland_Dave | March 21, 2021 at 12:28 pm | Reply

        Very true and the ones who died on the shuttles died because of politics. The problems were known but politics overroad corrections.

    • You do a dishonor to those fallen heroes who along with NASA laid the foundation for space flight.

    • Karl Emmanuel Sanchez | March 21, 2021 at 12:02 am | Reply

      In the words of Q himself:
      “Space exploration is a dangerous thing, if you want to be safe, don’t get out of your bed…”
      NASA has a surprisingly low count of casualties considering all the risks involved, only 17 as far as I recall.
      And what are you babbling about half made rockets? Rocket technology get tested ad nauseam before a human gets on top of it, so SpaceX rockets (falcon) aren’t yet rated for human flight, and this test is first of next batch for the Orion.

    • Bro, it isn’t 20+. Also without NASA people would probably have not been on the moon and we wouldn’t have all this to look forward to.

  2. when does this take place

  3. WHEN DOES THIS TAKE place.

  4. I HAD SOUP FOR DINNER!!

  5. So sad. NASA used to be so great. Now they are reduced to making movie trailers like this while SpaceX and others are actually doing things.

  6. Seriously? You do understand that NASA does not “build” rockets, right?
    Not one bolt of the Space Shuttle or these new SLS engines were constructed by NASA – but by private corporations. NASA is merely the customer. Boeing is the primary contractor for the SLS systems.

    You can’t compare NASA today with NASA during the Apollo program. Back in the late 1960’s, NASA had a huge budget to help develop the Saturn V, which comprised 4% of the Federal budget. Today? Less than half a percent (.48%)

    If you want NASA to do great things, then put pressure on your representatives to increase their budget. The scope of the programs correlates to money… no money, no programs.

  7. Spacex Starship has 41% more thrust and is farther along in development… How is SLS the “Most Powerful Rocket”?

  8. @sac2dude – Excellent comment. NASA subcontracts their mission equipment to a myriad of top aerospace companies and universities. The people at JPL scored grand slams with every Mars rover. I don’t understand where these haters come from!

  9. Government slow and over budget. These are not even reusable rockets. The private sector is proving to be much more efficient and cost-effective. Need new thinking in NASA, not 1970’s thinking.

  10. What smoke? That rocket is a huge humidifier, there is no smoke, only steam.

  11. I admire the scientific and technological advancement that these endeavors provide. However, wouldn’t the money and innovation be better spent on terrestrial endeavors here on Earth? Innovations in the petrochemical industry, innovations in fusion technology, and re-shaping of society. I could care less if Earth’s Moon and Mars exploded on the same day. This is all a geopolitical pissing contest where tax payers money is being wasted and provide DOD contractors inflate the wealth of their shareholders.

    • You would care about both of those events.

      If the moon exploded, the tides would stop. The tides drive the weather on this planet. Without tides, life would eventually cease due to no movement water and no movement of sea-based life to the different areas of the world. The food chain starts at the bottom and the bottom means the phytoplankton that starts the food chain in the oceans. Plus, some of those large chunks of the moon would make their way to this planet, raining down fire and terror day and night for months.

      If Mars blows up, we will have the same story with fire and terror for months, but that is not the worse thing. With Mars gone, the solar system balance would be upset. This would likely push the Earth closer to the sun, raising the global temperatures. Or it actually cause Earth to move further out, turning the planet into an icy grave.

      • No, the tide wouldn’t end if the moon was gone. Yes, it would most certainly change, but the sun also affects tidal changes.

  12. Saturn V: Thrust 7,891,000 lbf (35,100 kN) sea level
    More powerful that this one and built in the late 1960’s- 1973.
    Agree that NASA is wasting taxpayers money. If they want money let those who like it support it. We’re taxed to hell and back now to unconstitutionally care for millions of illegals.

  13. As I recall, an individual Saturn V, F1 engine generated 1.5M pounds of thrust.
    These engines generate 400K pounds of thrust, according to the way the article is written.

  14. Joseph Archer | March 21, 2021 at 7:00 am | Reply

    At best, 4% payload ratio using rockets. Maybe I’ll live 2 c launch tube. U’d think at least 1 intelligent ‘leader’ on planet.

  15. All of the Apollo lunar missions returned their astronauts home safely.

  16. Starship and SLS have never reached orbit; neither has the N1 rocket. The N1 was the most powerful rocket (Stage) ever built. the funding thing for SLS, yeah, its a lot but, its a way for the US government to subsidize the aerospace industry. Nasa is just doing what it always had done since its inception. But it is a government agency and not a company. They are not driven by profit but driven by essentially showing off and one-upmanship. The SLS itself is a heavy lift vehicle and the only current heavy lift vehicle is flown by China. Hence one-upmanship. Hydolox is a awesome propellent and I am glad this will help us understand future propulsion systems using some of the most abundant elements in the universe. and with that ISP.

  17. Explorers change history! How many died exploring the western hemisphere? Let the gutless wonders stay home all snug and warm! Cowards will never understand what drives the brave! Just think how the world would be if they ran it? Flat!

  18. Thomas Berger | March 21, 2021 at 2:14 pm | Reply

    Everybody wake up, NASA would be the most powerful force in space if we kept the attitude of JFK , I don’t care what it cost do it ! But congress and the previous administrations, except Trump, cut off NASA at the knees but cutting funding , all the astronauts that died in both space shuttles, died because of money , plain and simple, and that is a fact !! The US government killed those astronauts plain and simple, think about it !

  19. Wonderful. Nice to see NASA in the game with leading edge once more. Unlike MUSK, NASA would never consider a “returning rocket” that blows up upon landing as a “Success”. Go NASA.

  20. Using monster rockets to overcome Earth’s gravity is colossally stupid when a 747 can overcome most of gravity (see inverse square law) very cheaply. We knew this back in the late 50’s with the X project, but because JFK had to get into a d-measuring competition with the Soviets, we used the least effective and most dangerous way to get to space, and we’re still doing it. If we had poured all that money into the X program for all these years we’d already have a base on the moon, been to Mars, and had hotels and factories in orbit. Unfortunately, that would have been too efficient to satisfy the government-industrial complex with its revolving door of personnel. I say this having been a military contractor based out of Boeing Tacoma WA and seen the absolutely disgusting waste and government patronage of the consulting industry. Every meeting would have 30 consultants on it, almost none of them necessary, just to justify the massive continued billing.

    • Brilliant post, 100% correct. 40-50% of the fuel load is just to get a rocket up to 350,000ft and our current technique is extremely inefficient. There was a paper I read that explained if a rocket was on a U shaped roller coaster type rail and dropped 50-60 feet, using the kinetic energy as it started up the rail and ignited the engines, you could save 20-30% of the fuel load.

      I don’t know how easy it is to put the SLS on a roller coaster, but it shows how inefficient our current tech is today.

  21. When strapped to 2 solid rocket boosters, it may be the most powerful. A falcon heavy has 3.4 million pounds of thrust. On top of that, it is less expensive and reusable.

  22. You libtards that try to demonize everything forget that these astronauts volunteer for these dangerous missions because they believe in what they are doing. If someone volunteers for something maybe you dipshits should support them instead of degrading them. They know the risks idiots.

    • Remember, the Kamikaze were volunteers also, so just because the known risks are acceptable, it’s the unknown and poor human decisions that increase the risk.

      I agree that the DNC socialists want to throw money at an unsolvable problem of their own making, but we really know it’s all about buying votes from the welfare generation.

      That said, the moon, Mars and most other NASA space programs will be killed by Brainless Joe and Kneeling Hoe when our economic bubble pops and it’s 10 times worse than 1929.

  23. SibylTheHeretic | March 21, 2021 at 6:03 pm | Reply

    I believe the RS-25 engines were developed it 1959. 1959! Why hasn’t NASA been able to design something more advanced in the last 60 years?

    • It’s the same reason that NASA is tearing apart and building an improved version of the F1 engines today. Just because shit is old, doesn’t mean it’s inefficient or bad. The builders of the F1, S2 and SPS for Apollo designed a truly phenomenal rocket engine and it’s testament to those designers that 50-60 years later it’s still the best ever built.

  24. Gallons of liquid oxygen? Who still uses gallons as a volume measure?

  25. F1 is still more powerful. Sorry not most powerful

  26. There is increasing biological evidence that humans can’t survive in space (deleterious changes on the mitochondrial level etc). This coupled with advances in AI in robots makes you wonder what is the piibt

    • Agree 100%, Mars bases, deep space travel are for robotic missions and until we can terra form Mars over the next few hundred years, it’s not worth the risk or $$$. However, the moon base and research centers is something that we should build.

  27. In the 70’s the LBJ welfare generation of socialists, used the same logic to cancel the Apollo program and end lunar exploration just as we perfected it. All that tax money spent on inner-city education, ending poverty, social welfare and entitlement programs, turned every US city into a crime and drug infested 3rd world shithole.

    NASA returns taxpayer investments 100 to 1 in the aviation, space, robotic, computer, Medical, metallurgical and other technologies that have greatly benefited every human. NASA in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo days was about innovation, taking acceptable risks and cutting out the red tape. Unfortunately the NASA of today is another top heavy, risk adverse, CYA and PC Gov’t agency, where innovation and the spirit of excellence leaves for the private sector.

    There’s ample proof that both NASA and Thiakol management killed the Challenger crew. It’s well known that Linda Ham prevented and refused all help from the USAF, CIA, NSA, NRO, Hubble and other resources who offered help to image Columbia’s leading edge that had a gaping hole from the foam impact. We absolutely could have saved Columbia had it not been for the criminal and arrogant actions by Linda Ham.

    The Apollo 1 fire was a result of shoddy workmanship, poor design and an insane schedule that was not achievable. The question has to be asked, why did NASA decide to give the Saturn V contract to North American Aviation, when they had no experience and had never built a spacecraft before. So consider McDonnell designed and built the Mercury, Gemini, MOL and other spacecraft that operated almost flawlessly, with the exception of Carpenters Mercury flight and Gemini 8 faulty RCS. So NASA takes away the Apollo program from the most experienced and competent manufacturer and has to start from scratch with a company who’s only spacecraft was the X15 and only flew in space for a few minutes. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Regardless, NASA is still the most productive Gov’t agency, but it’s been proven that private companies without the layers of bureaucratic bullshit by paper pushers and risk adverse middle managers, are able to make quick decisions and encourage innovation at light speed compared to NASA.

    BTW, the brave men and women who fly in space know and accept the risks and depend on everyone to make the right decisions, do the best job in order to accomplish the mission.

  28. Ernest Lacaillade | March 28, 2021 at 6:35 am | Reply

    10th man, your ignorance blazes bright.The Astrinauts who unfortunately died preparing for, and while on, these missions knew full well the dangers involved in what they were doing. Yet vokunteered to take the risk regardless. The reward, which is the advancement of all mankind, far outweighs the risks of which there are no secrets as to the dangers involved.. These people are doing this at their own free will. To call their early dimise muder is not just wrong, it is a
    insult to the brave and pioneering spirit which has made our country, our cumture and our achievements possible. Ofcourse until we let too many foreigners in and gave their opinions any weight at all. Live free or die…

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