NASA tested the largest, most powerful booster ever built for flight for the agency’s new rocket, the Space Launch System(SLS) on June 28 at Orbital ATK Aerospace System’s test facility in Promontory, Utah. SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft will launch astronauts on missions to explore multiple destinations on the journey to Mars.
The NASA team could record the whole event in detail by using a High Dynamic Range Stereo X camera (HiDyRS-X). The HiDyRS-X can record multiple slow motion video exposure meaning that it can capture all the detail of the bright plumes for NASA. The camera was operated remotely, but due to a hiccup with the camera it missed the initial ignition and later on lost power when the booster shook the ground.
NASA will conduct one more SLS ground test in Utah before shipping the rocket to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to prepare for its first test flight, the space agency said.
“It took months to heat the 1.6 million pound booster to 90 degrees Fahrenheit to verify its performance at the highest end of the booster’s accepted propellant temperature range,”
“A cold-temperature test, at a target of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the low end of the propellant temperature range. These two tests will provide a full range of data for analytical models that inform how the booster performs. During the test, temperatures inside the booster reached more than 5,600 degrees.”