NASA Space Launch System, the rocket system that will eventually provide the means for the space agency to send spacecraft and astronauts to the Moon, is a very big deal. SLS hasn't flown yet, and that means its design based on modern computers hasn't been put to the final test.
The test, which went down at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, was another important step in NASA's Artemis program. NASA has said that for the first mission of SLS and Orion, Artemis I, the rocket is capable of sending more than 26 metric tons (57,000 pounds) to the Moon.More news: South Africa's Beauty Queen,l Zozibini Tunzi Crowned Miss Universe 2019
Boeing, which is the primary contractor on the SLS project, performed its own stress tests on the tank prior to NASA's tests.
With this last hurdle overcome (it was the largest-ever controlled test-to-failure of a NASA rocket stage pressurized tank), and the previous ones aced, the fuel tank (not the one that blew up, of course) is deemed ready for operation. The test ultimately resulted in the failure of the tank, but that's exactly what NASA says it was going for. The test version of the SLS liquid hydrogen tank that is used for these tests is structurally identical to the actual flight tank. To recreate accurate flight stresses, the engineers use gaseous nitrogen and large hydraulic pistons to create intense compression, tension and pressure.More news: US Navy Grounds 175 Saudi Aviation Students Following Mass Shooting
Built at NASA's Michoud facility just outside New Orleans, the tank stands over 130 feet tall, measures 27.6 feet in diameter, and can store 537,000 gallons of "super cooled liquid hydrogen". "The initial tank buckling failure occurred at the same relative location as predicted by the Boeing analysis team and initiated within 3% of the predicted failure load", Luke Denney, qualification test manager for Boeing's Test & Evaluation Group, said in the statement.More news: Greenland ice loss faster than expected