After successfully completing a mission-critical dress rehearsal at the launchpad for its initial trip to the moon, NASA’s megarocket is now back in its enormous garage.
Engineers showed the Space Launch System rocket could gimbal like no one’s business during tests conducted at Kennedy Space Center in Florida this June.
A video of the engines performing a brief wobble dance was recently released by the NASA Artemis I mission team.
This is the moniker NASA prefers for the new American lunar rocket.
To make sure a spaceflight follows the correct trajectory, an engine must pivot or gimbal. The thrust, or oomph, the engine provides for the rocket changes in relation to the center of gravity of the vehicle as the engine nozzle swivels from side to side.
The megarocket is considerably more potent than its forerunner, the Saturn V rocket, requiring 8.8 million pounds of thrust during liftoff and ascent, or 15% more than Saturn V offered.
The four main Space Shuttle rocket engines will be fueled with 700,000 gallons of extremely cold propellant and have enough thrust to lift eight Boeing 747s.
For deep space, NASA upgraded the outdated 1980s components that were used on 135 shuttle missions. Engineers had to install new pipe connections and modify them for the flow rate of cryogenic fuel.
The four primary Space Shuttle rocket engines will be fueled with 700,000 gallons of extremely cold propellant and generate enough thrust to keep eight Boeing 747s in the air.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is to blame.
As part of Artemis I, the first American lunar mission since the Apollo era, NASA will launch the rocket. The new Orion spacecraft will eventually orbit the moon without astronauts for the first time before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean thanks to the massive 5.75 million-pound rocket. Before carrying human passengers, one of the flight’s main goals is to demonstrate that the capsule can reenter Earth’s atmosphere safely and hit its target in the water.
The U.S. space agency hasn’t had a rocket of this size, capable of carrying large payloads of cargo and people very far from Earth, for a very long time. It’s designed to go to the moon, but it’s also anticipated to land the first astronauts on Mars in the future.
The megarocket has moved one step closer to the moon after passing her test. In the video up top, you can see her sway even more.