Aviation World

World’s MOST POWERFUL Rocket Test (NASA and SpaceX Rocket Tests)


The full-scale booster firing is conducted with new materials and processes that may be used for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket boosters. NASA and Northrop Grumman, the SLS boosters lead contractor, will use data from the Rocket Test to evaluate the motor’s performance using potential new materials and processes for Artemis missions beyond the initial Moon landing in 2024.

During this phase, tests are made to test the ability of the rocket system to withstand extreme operating conditions limits like extreme ambient temperatures, variations in the fuel composition, vibration environment  or even rough handling during transport. The SLS boosters are the largest, most powerful boosters ever built for flight. The two boosters on the rocket provide more than 75% of the thrust needed to launch NASA’s future deep space missions through NASA’s Artemis lunar program. Northrop Grumman is the lead contractor for the SLS boosters.

For a little over two minutes — the same amount of time that the boosters power the SLS rocket during liftoff and flight for each Artemis mission — the five-segment flight support booster fired in the Utah desert, producing more than 3 million pounds of thrust.

NASA and Northrop Grumman have previously completed three development motor tests and two qualification motor tests. Today’s test, called Flight Support Booster-1 (FSB-1), builds on prior tests with the introduction of propellant ingredients from new suppliers for boosters on SLS rockets to support flights after Artemis III.

SpaceX on the other hand are also actively engaged in the development of the rocket for the future travel to Mars. The SpaceX Starship is a fully-reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft that is being privately developed by SpaceX. It is designed to be a long-duration cargo and passenger-carrying spacecraft. The development of the Starship began around 2012.

While the Starship program had only a small development team during the early years, and a larger development and build team since late 2018, Musk made Starship the top SpaceX development priority following the first human spaceflight launch of Crew Dragon in May 2020, except for anything related to reduction of crew return risk.

In March 2020, Musk had set "an aspirational goal" of using SN5 or SN6 to conduct an orbital flight of Starship before the end of 2020. After a successful static fire test on 30 July 2020 SN5 completed a 150-meter flight on 4 August 2020. SN5 may have a second test flight to follow. 

Also Read Other Interesting Aviation Engineering Articles Here