NASA finishes big SLS tank tests, says design is flight ready
NASA rocket engineers finished qualification testing of the Space Launch System’s big liquid hydrogen fuel tank and say the flight version is ready to go.
The fuel tank will power the first Artemis mission to the moon and all later flights of SLS.
Al.com reports engineers have tested the SLS tank continuously on Redstone arsenal since January. The tanks were lifted into a 221-foot-high stand, 2,500 sensors were installed, and for some tests, 80,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen fuel got loaded into it.
NASA says the SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built. It’s the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts and large cargo to the moon on a single mission.
Since it`s been on Redstone arsenal, the tank has undergone compression and tension testing, with a system of 3D cameras monitoring the tests and recording calculations.
Soon, NASA will work with Boeing to add four engines and two solid rocket boosters that will produce a combined 8.8 million pounds of thrust to send Artemis one to space.
BOEING expects to complete the final assembly of the Artemis I core stage in December then it will go to Mississippi for green run testing.
NASA says the focus of this entire operation is on reusability and building a sustainable presence on the lunar surface.