EM-1 Flight Engines Complete & Ready for Integration with SLS

Progress towards Exploration Mission-1 continued this month with the completion of work on the four RS-25 engines that will be used to power SLS in its launch of Orion to the Lunar orbit.  This milestone marks the last step before the integration of these four engines on the core stage of SLS for the "green run" testing. 

In its announcement, NASA noted that: "The flight preparations for the four engines that will power NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) on its first integrated flight with Orion are complete and the engines are assembled and ready to be joined to the deep space rocket’s core stage. All five structures that form the massive core stage for the rocket have been built including the engine section where the RS-25 engines will be attached.

...

"The SLS has the largest core stage ever built and includes four RS-25 engines, which previously powered NASA’s space shuttle. The RS-25 engines that are being tested and prepared for SLS were proven during the years they were responsible for propelling 135 shuttle missions, and have been upgraded for the first SLS flight. The four that will fly on Exploration Mission-1 supported a total of 21 shuttle missions.

"In total, NASA has 16 flight-proven RS-25 engines and two development engines that are being used as “workhorse” engines for testing. These engines have been used to test new controllers – the brains of the engine – which have now been installed on the flight engines. The flight engines will be attached to the core stage to prepare for green run testing – the final test for the four flight engines and the core stage that will occur before the first mission."           

Aerojet Rocketdyne photo via NASA:  https://www.nasa.gov/feature/first-four-space-launch-system-flight-engines-ready-to-rumble

Aerojet Rocketdyne photo via NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/first-four-space-launch-system-flight-engines-ready-to-rumble

RS-25 Flight Controller Testing Continues!

This summer marked the continuation of a successful series of RS-25 engine tests at NASA's Stennis Space Center.  From NASA:

"NASA engineers closed a summer of successful hot fire testing Aug. 30 for flight controllers on RS-25 engines that will help power the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, being built to carry astronauts to deep-space destinations, including Mars. The space agency capped off summer testing with a 500-second hot fire of a fifth RS-25 engine flight controller unit on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The controller serves as the “brain” of the engine, communicating with SLS flight computers to ensure engines are performing at needed levels. The test marked another step toward the nation’s return to human deep-space exploration missions."

Fore more information: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasa-concludes-summer-of-testing-with-fifth-flight-controller-hot-fire