WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NASA’s Boeing-built deep space exploration rocket, Space Launch System (SLS), is set to fire its behemoth core stage for the first time on Saturday, a crucial test for a years-delayed U.S. government project facing mounting pressure from emerging private sector technology.
FILE PHOTO: NASA's Space Launch System mobile launcher stands atop Launch Pad 39B for months of testing before it will launch the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft on mission Artemis 1 at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., July 1, 2019.
REUTERS/Thom Baur/File PhotoSpace Launch System’s hot fire test, expected to begin at 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) Saturday at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, caps a nearly year-long ‘Green Run’ test campaign to validate the rocket’s design.
“This is a once-in-a-generation kind of test,” Jim Maser, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Senior Vice President of Space, told Reuters.
NASA and Boeing engineers have stayed on a ten-month schedule for the Green Run “despite having significant adversity this year,” Boeing’s Space Launch System manager John Shannon told reporters this week.
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