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Stennis Space Center nears end of certification process for NASA Artemis moon missions

Stennis NASA
Photo courtesy of Stennis Space Center

NASA is one step closer to finalizing the testing process of engines that will be used in future Artemis moon missions, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast continues to play a key role.

The space agency continued a critical test series, which began in October 2023, for future flights of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in support of the Artemis campaign on Wednesday with a hot fire of the RS-25 engine on the Fred Haise Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis.

The hot fire marked the 11th of 12 scheduled tests to certify the production of new RS-25 engines that will help power future Artemis missions to the Moon and continue the agency’s efforts to explore the universe.

Operators fired the RS-25 engine for a full duration of 500 seconds. As with previous hot fires, the team collected performance data for lead contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3 Harris Technologies company, to manufacture new RS-25 engines for future SLS rocket missions, beginning with Artemis V.

For each Artemis mission, four RS-25 engines, along with a pair of solid rocket boosters, power the SLS, producing more than 8.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

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