NASA’s Artemis Moon mission hits important milestone with successful full-scale booster test

Katie Ramirez
September 3, 2020

Highlighting its importance, NASA notes that SLS is now the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the moon in a single mission.

SLS will need to be one of the most powerful rockets to date as it will ferry astronauts and equipment for a lunar base to the Moon come 2024. "FSB-1 builds upon prior tests of the rocket's five-segment solid rocket booster to evaluate improvements and new materials in the boosters for missions beyond Artemis III".

Last year, NASA revealed details of its vision for the Artemis Moon Lander that will return American astronauts to the lunar surface.

But in a tweet, NASA said the test was "not all about power", adding, "It's also about the technical innovations that will help us explore the moon and beyond".

The press service of NASA announced the successful conduct of a full-scale test of the upper stage of the SLS (Space Launch System) launch vehicle for flights to the Moon and Mars.

NASA Test Fire Solid Rocket Booster Lighting Hillside on Fire
Source NASA

John Honeycutt, the SLS Program Manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said: "NASA is simultaneously making progress on assembling and manufacturing the solid rocket boosters for the first three Artemis missions and looking ahead toward missions beyond the initial Moon landing".

The booster that was sacked during Wednesday's test is the same design and size as the boosters that will be stacked to build the rocket that will power NASA's Artemis missions.

On Wednesday, NASA conducted an important rocket test for the future Artemis missions, which will bring Americans back to the moon to establish a "sustainable presence" there to support eventual missions to Mars. Dubbed Flight Support Booster-1, the test article built on previous variants with "the introduction of propellant ingredients from new suppliers".

It was created to check the performance and manufacturing quality of the booster's rocket motor.

Despite the ambitious project suffering a number of delays and a spiraling budget, astronaut Christina Koch, who recently broke the record for the longest single continuous stay in space for a woman at 328 days, told Digital Trends that NASA can "absolutely" achieve its "bold goal" of returning humans to the moon by 2024.

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