On Thursday, Aerospace firms credited NASA with a successful test of engines on a Boeing-built rocket for Artemis missions that aim to return US astronauts to the moon by 2024, more than half a century since the last lunar walk.
NASA simulated a launch by firing the engines of the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket while it was anchored to a tower at its Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
The four RS-25 engines roared to life for the full eight minutes of the test and filled the surrounding area and sky with clouds of white smoke. After the engines cut off, NASA employees could be heard applauding on the space agency’s live-streaming video, and many aerospace firms publicly congratulated NASA on a successful test.
NASA aims to send an un-crewed spacecraft to orbit the moon in November and return US astronauts to the moon by 2024, but the SLS program is three years behind schedule and nearly $3 billion over budget.