Following a quick end to a hot-fire test two months ago, NASA’s test team at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi is ready to run RS-25 Development Engine 0525 in the A-1 test stand again on Wednesday. The last test on December 12 was manually cut off after only thirty seconds, coincident with a fire observed near the engine powerhead.
Wednesday’s test is the eighth in the “Retrofit 1b” series for prime contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne’s production restart program. Four RS-25s will power NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage and Aerojet Rocketdyne is using modern, updated manufacturing techniques aimed at reducing the production cost of new engines.
Hot-fire test first after quick December cut off
The previous test started at 3:24 pm Central Time on December 12 and ended just thirty seconds after ignition when the shutdown command was manually sent to the engine. A fire was observed around the engine powerhead in the live NASA Televsion coverage for several seconds prior to the manual shutdown.
NASA released a short update on December 20 that the test was manually terminated early due an anomaly in the data, and that damage to the stand and the engine were limited. “The root ...