In an earth-shaking display of power and promise, NASA on Thursday successfully tested a huge rocket engine of the kind that may help propel astronauts on a deep-space mission to Mars. The test occurred at a NASA facility in Mississippi — the Stennis Space Center — where the RS-25 engine was put through its fiery paces with a new controller.
The massive engine’s 512,000 pounds of thrust was on display for 535 seconds, the time it would take to lift the Orion spacecraft crew capsule some 200 miles above the earth and send it on its way toward the red planet.
The rocket engine that was tested was a leftover from the agency’s shuttle program. It’s undergone a number of changes to make it more suitable for its next mission.
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Onlookers watching from a safe distance got a bone-rattling, steam-plume-shooting show that lasted nearly nine minutes. By clicking on the video above, courtesy of RT America, you can watch a much shorter segment of the impressive NASA test.