NASA's Artemis I Orion capsule is being moved from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the Multi-Payload Processing Facility, at Kennedy Space Center, January 16, 2021. At this point, the test was fully automated.
The hot fire is the eighth and final test of the Green Run series to ensure the core stage of the SLS rocket is ready to launch Artemis missions to the Moon, beginning with Artemis I.
The SLS Green Run test will take place at Stennis Space Center in MS, and it comes after NASA worked to solve an unexpected problem in a previous test, a wet dress rehearsal that marks the first time that cryogenic or supercooled liquid fuels have been used.
NASA said in a release that the software "acted appropriately" and ended the test. In coming days, engineers will continue to analyze data and will inspect the core stage and its four RS-25 engines to determine the next steps'. But first, NASA plans to make some noise with a fiery SLS test on Saturday.
The eight-step process for validating the SLS Core Stage. It hosts five mains sections, including a 537,000-gallon (2 million-liter) tank for liquid hydrogen, a 196,000-gallon (742,000-liter) tank for liquid oxygen, four RS-25 engines, avionics computers, and other subsystems.
The maximum amount of thrust that the four RS-25 engines can generate during launch and ascent is over 900,000 kg (2 million lbs) or around 8,900 kilonewtons (kN) of thrust.
"It's not a developmental or test article, it's the flight article that will power Artemis-1 around the Moon, so we're being very careful with it as we go".
The SLS consists of the huge core stage with two smaller solid rocket boosters (SRBs) attached to the sides. Together, these will be used for all configurations of the SLS rocket, which are grouped according to two Blocks.
Artist's rendering of the various Block 1 and Block 2 SLS configurations.
NASA's SLS schedule still has Artemis I as early as November with Artemis II, a crewed mission around the moon without landing, by 2023 and then a 2024 flight that aims to put the first woman on the moon. Critics have long argued for NASA to retire the rocket's shuttle-era core technologies, which have launch costs of $1 billion or more per mission, in favor of newer commercial alternatives that promise lower costs.
It is also central to their long-term vision of space exploration, which includes deploying the elements of the Lunar Gateway in orbit and the Artemis Base Camp to the lunar surface.
You can catch the full event via NASA Live (see below).