January 16, 2021

Live coverage: NASA “go” for fueling SLS core stage for hot fire test

January 16, 2021

NASA managers gave the “go” to begin filling the Space Launch System’s core stage with more than 700,000 gallons of super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen Saturday at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, aiming for the first firing of all four of the huge rocket’s main engines later in the day. NASA TV’s live coverage of the test-firing begins at 4:20 p.m. EST (2120 GMT), around 40 minutes prior to the start of the two-hour test window.

NASA sets mid-January target for SLS hot fire test

January 6, 2021

NASA is moving forward with a crucial test-firing of the core stage of the first Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket as soon as Jan. 17 after engineers were satisfied with the results of a fueling test last month.

SLS cryogenic tanking test preps begin this weekend

December 5, 2020

Final preparations began this weekend at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to load super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the massive core stage of the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket for the first time as soon as Monday.

Crucial first fueling test on tap for SLS core stage later this month

October 9, 2020

If all goes according to plan, engineers in southern Mississippi later this month will load cryogenic propellants into the core stage of a rocket NASA says will launch astronauts back to the moon, exposing its tankage and internal plumbing to extreme operating conditions hundreds of degrees below zero for the first time. The fueling test — a major milestone in its own right — is a precursor to a high-stakes eight-minute test-firing of the Space Launch System’s four shuttle-era main engines planned as soon as November.

Relativity books up to six launches for Iridium, reveals plans for Vandenberg pad

June 24, 2020

Relativity Space, a small launch startup aiming to fly its orbital rocket from Cape Canaveral for the first time next year, announced Wednesday it has signed a contract with Iridium for up to six launches of the company’s spare communications satellites. Relativity also announced it plans to develop a second launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to allow for missions to polar orbits.

Facing pandemic, NASA shutters rocket factory, halts SLS and Orion testing

March 20, 2020

NASA announced Thursday that work on the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket and Orion crew capsule at facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi is being halted due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, a stoppage that could force further delays on the already behind-schedule and over-budget programs. Meanwhile, NASA officials are making plans to continue working on the agency’s next Mars rover to keep it on schedule for launch later this year, even if the virus forces further closures.

First SLS core stage installed on test stand in Mississippi

February 3, 2020

Weeks after leaving its factory in New Orleans, the core stage for NASA’s first Space Launch System flight has been raised into a test stand at the Stennis Space Center to begin a series of checkouts culminating in an eight-minute engine-firing later this year.

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