NASA tests shuttle-era engine for new rocket

NASA tests shuttle-era engine for new rocket.A shuttle-era main engine roared to life in a ground-shaking Mississippi test firing Thursday, the latest in a series of full-duration burns to make sure the upgraded powerplants can handle the higher temperatures, pressures and thrust levels needed for the agency’s new Space Launch System — SLS — super rocket.

Bolted into the Apollo-era A-1 test stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., RS-25 engine No. 0525 ignited at 5:01 p.m. EDT, throttling up with a 120-decibel roar as it gulped more than 300 gallons of liquid oxygen and hydrogen rocket fuel per second.

With the propellants burning at some 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt lead — the Aerojet Rocketdyne engine’s exhaust plums shot out its liquid hydrogen-cooled nozzle at 13 times the speed of sound, blasting a billowing cloud of white steam high into the sky above the test stand


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