It's the only rocket that in a single mission will be able to send the Orion spacecraft, astronauts, and cargo to the moon, almost 1,000 times farther than the space station in Earth's orbit. The objective of the mission is to certify the spacecraft, ground systems, and rocket for human spaceflight, clearing the way for the crewed circumlunar Artemis II mission. If all four engines perform normally, they'll produce about 1.6 million pounds of thrust for 485 seconds, or just over eight minutes - the length of time required to deliver an upper-stage rocket and Orion spaceship into orbit. Because test preparation is running ahead of schedule, NASA TV coverage will begin at 3:20 p.m. EST for a test start time of 4 p.m.
NASA's last major test-firing of an SLS component happened on September 2, when Northrop Grumman successfully ignited a 176-foot-tall (54-meter) side booster.
SLS experienced delays While developing it, it is still at the center of NASA's ambitious plans to return humans to the moon by 2024 through the Artemis program. Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan appears in this photo with the parked Lunar Roving Vehicle on the moon.More news: Godzilla Vs Kong: Warner Bros To Release The Monster Film Early
As part of an Orion production and operations contract, NASA ordered three Orion spacecraft from Lockheed Martin for Artemis missions III-V with plans to order three additional Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions VI-VIII and options for up to 12 missions.
NASA is nearing the end of its Green Run test series that puts the base stage - which the agency describes as "the backbone of an SLS missile" - through its paces before it actually takes off from this rock at some point in the future.More news: Chelsea to take Fulham seriously, despite record, Football News & Top Stories
The core stage is the world's largest and most powerful rocket stage, according to NASA.
The wet dress rehearsal cut off slightly early, but NASA tracked the problem down to a timing issue that was later corrected and that shouldn't impact the hot fire.
NASA's Artemis I Orion capsule is beginning its movemnt from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the Multi-Payload Processing Facility, at Kennedy Space Center, January 16, 2021.More news: Blake Shelton Defends New Song 'Minimum Wage' Amid 'Ridiculous' Backlash
Each successful test brings the moon a little closer within human reach.