NASA 'destroys' oxygen tank of SLS in incredible test video


Incredible video shows NASA using ‘crippling force’ to deliberately destroy the oxygen tank of a rocket which will take the Artemis mission to the Moon

  • NASA was testing the 70ft tall oxygen tank used on the Space Launch System
  • The rocket will launch the first woman and next man on their journey to the Moon
  • This was the final in a long series of tests on parts of the ‘world’s largest rocket’
  • The final testing stage will be on the fully assembled 212ft core stage SLS rocket 
  • When those are complete SLS will be used to launch the first Artemis mission to send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the Moon in November 2021 

NASA has shared an amazing video showing a 70ft oxygen tank that will form part of the rocket designed to fly to the Moon being blown apart by ‘crippling forces’.

The agency destroyed part of its Space Launch System (SLS) to see how well it would cope under the sort of forces it would experience when launching into orbit. 

Its destruction was good news though, as this is exactly what NASA engineers predicted, meaning it passed this test proving flight readiness. 

The test is a key milestone in the development of the SLS, which when completed will be the most powerful rocket ever developed and allow humans to explore the solar system – starting with the Moon and Mars.

It is hoped SLS will launch the Orion spacecraft on its journey to land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024.

READ  Asteroid panic: ‘Most devastating natural disaster known to man!’ Shock NASA warning

During the experiment the 28ft wide oxygen tank was bolted into a massive steel rink and millions of pounds of crippling force was applied to it from all sides.

This force was similar to the ‘torture’ the rocket would experience during launch. 

‘The test team have done a tremendous job of accomplishing this test program, marking a major milestone not only for the SLS Program but also for the Artemis program,’ said John Honeycutt, the SLS Program Manager. 

‘It is remarkable work that will help send astronauts to the Moon,’ he said. 

Now that this major component of the SLS rocket has passed its structural qualification testing in Alabama, work can start on preparing for launch.

The agency destroyed part of its Space Launch System (SLS) to see how well it would cope under the sort of forces it would experience when launching into orbit.

The agency destroyed part of its Space Launch System (SLS) to see how well it would cope under the sort of forces it would experience when launching into orbit.

There were 199 separate tests generating more than 421 gigabytes of data that fed into the computer models used to design and perfect the giant engines. 

This was the single largest test program NASA has conducted for a rocket since the Space Shuttle Program finished more than 30 years ago. 

With the conclusion of testing, designers now have data that may be helpful in optimising SLS hardware before Artemis 1 takes to the sky.  

Artemis 1 is scheduled to launch in November 2021 and will take the Orion craft into space for a a three week long uncrewed flight test to the Moon and back.   

‘This is a landmark year for core stage testing for the Artemis missions,’ said Julie Bassler, the SLS stages manager. 

READ  10 space exploration events we're excited for in the 2020s - WTSP.com

‘We have successfully completed our core stage major structural tests at Marshall Space Flight Center and are making progress on Green Run testing of the Artemis I core stage at Stennis Space Center that will simulate launch. 

This final test marks the point where the SLS has passed all the testing requirements needed prior to the launch of the first Artemis mission - Artemis 1

This final test marks the point where the SLS has passed all the testing requirements needed prior to the launch of the first Artemis mission – Artemis 1 

‘All these tests are not only valuable for the first Artemis mission but also validates the new integrated design of the SLS core stage structure, propulsion and avionics systems and ensures its readiness for future flights.’

SPACE LAUNCH SYSTEM CORE STATS 

Length: 212 feet

Diameter: 27.6 feet

Empty weight: 188,000 lbs

Material: Aluminium 2219 

Engines: 4xRS-24

Max Speed: Mach 23 

Capacity: 537,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and 196,000 gallons of liquid oxygen

Before Artemis 1 launches in 2021 there needs to be more testing of the fully assembled 212ft core stage of the SLS rocket. 

Northrop Grumman, who built the Eagle lander for the Apollo missions, is also working on parts for the SLS and Artemis missions.

They recently delivered booster segments to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida where they are being prepared for launch. 

All 10 of the segments for the second Artemis mission are cast, and Northrop Grumman is now working on the boosters for Artemis III – the mission that will see the first woman and next man land on the Moon in 2024.

With the arrival of the boosters to Kennedy, the only remaining pieces of hardware for the Artemis I flight test to be delivered are the launch vehicle stage adapter, which connects the rocket to the Orion spacecraft and will arrive this summer.

READ  Scientists say the moon has 'lots of ice' buried beneath the surface

The other outstanding part is the SLS core stage, which will be transported to Kennedy by barge after the Green Run hot fire test at Stennis later this year.

The comprehensive, eight-part test series, or Green Run, will steadily bring the core stage flight hardware, or new, ‘green’ hardware, to life for the first time. 

The test series cumulates with a ‘hot fire’ as all four engines fire simultaneously.

NASA’S SPACE LAUNCH SYSTEM ROCKET IS THE LARGEST EVER MADE AND WILL LET HUMANS EXPLORE THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Space Launch System, or SLS, is a launch vehicle that NASA hopes will take its astronauts back to the moon and beyond.

The rocket will have an initial lift configuration, set to launch in the mid-2020’s, followed by an upgraded ‘evolved lift capability’ that can carry heavier payloads. Nasa is yet to set a timeline for SLS’s second iteration.

Space Launch System Initial Lift Capability

– Maiden flight: Mid-2020’s

– Height: 311 feet (98 metres)

– Lift: 70 metric tons

– Weight: 2.5 million kilograms (5.5 million lbs)

Space Launch System Evolved Lift Capability

– Maiden flight: Unknown

– Height: 384 feet (117 metres)

– Lift: 130 metric tons

– Weight: 2.9 million kilograms (6.5 million lbs)

NASA's Space Launch System will have an initial lift configuration (second from right), set to launch in the mid-2020's, followed by an upgraded 'evolved lift capability' (far right) that can carry heavier payloads

NASA’s Space Launch System will have an initial lift configuration (second from right), set to launch in the mid-2020’s, followed by an upgraded ‘evolved lift capability’ (far right) that can carry heavier payloads





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here