Aerojet Rocketdyne Flight Controller Goes Three for Three in Testing

NASA Reminds Everyone It Can Build Super-Powered Rockets, Too

NASA engineers placed the engine inside a massive test stand at the Stennis Space Center in MS and test-fired the third of four engines that will ultimately lift the first SLS rocket into space.

NASA made another successful test of an RS-25 engine controller unit - one of four engines that will eventually propel the world's most powerful rocket - the Space Launch System (SLS). The test lasted about 500 seconds and was conducted on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis, they added.

This is the third of the four engines to be tested and marks another significant milestone en route to the first integrated flight of the SLS deep space rocket and the Orion spacecraft, known as Exploration Mission-1.

Vid If you have a hankering to watch eight minutes of billowing clouds of rocket exhaust, NASA's posted the video of the latest test of its RS-25 engine. The engines will work together with rocket boosters to create 8 million pounds of thrust. The controllers provide precision control and communication abilities not possible in previous engines.

NASA will use the flight controller on the inaugural mission of SLS, created to propel the Orion spacecraft around the moon and help the vehicle travel back to Earth.

"The Space Launch System is the rocket that will take humans beyond the Moon, and ultimately to Mars", said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.

The flight controller translates the vehicle's commands into action while monitoring the health of the engine by making real-time adjustments to the speed of the turbopumps, combustion pressures, as well as the engine's thrust and propellant mixture ratios. Aerojet Rocketdyne is the RS-25 prime contractor.