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NASA takes major step toward deep-space exploration

Watch NASA test the engines that will rocket deeper into space than ever before

On July 25, 2017, NASA successfully tested the third RS-25 Engine Controller Unit. These engines will power NASA's Space Launch System rocket as it travels deeper into space than ever before, and this test is the latest milestone towards launching
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On July 25, 2017, NASA successfully tested the third RS-25 Engine Controller Unit. These engines will power NASA's Space Launch System rocket as it travels deeper into space than ever before, and this test is the latest milestone towards launching

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.

Emily Zentner: 916-321-1074, @emilymzentner

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