NASA on Tuesday successfully tested the third engine controller unit for the RS-25 rocket engines that will power a pioneering deep-space exploration mission.
NASA called this test a “milestone” toward the launch of the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft on Exploration Mission-1, according to NASA’s website. The engines will work together with rocket boosters to create 8 million pounds of thrust.
These controller units are one of the key modifications NASA made to former space shuttle engines to create the RS-25. The controllers provide precision control and communication abilities not possible in previous engines.
This is the third in a series of tests of the RS-25 engine by contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne and subcontractor Honeywell at the Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., according to NASA’s website. The Space Launch system will be powered by four RS-25 engines.