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

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.


View Comments

  • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Spacex Starship has 41% more thrust and is farther along in development... How is SLS the "Most Powerful Rocket"?

  • @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!

  • 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.

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