Raumfahrt - SLS Raumschiff ORION Update-60


NASA prepares Orion simulator for lunar mission training


NASA is setting up a high-tech simulator, made by Lockheed Martin, to teach astronauts how to operate the Orion capsule during planned moon missions.

Weak funding from Congress has cast doubt over the schedule for such lunar missions, but NASA is moving forward with preparations, officials have said.

Lockheed delivered the Orion simulator to Johnson Space Center in mid-December, ahead of the first potential crewed flight to the moon in 2023.

Astronauts will practice every step of their planned flights to the moon, from launch to lunar landing, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik told UPI.

"The training teams will be able to have the highest-fidelity, most realistic flight simulations that are possible," said Bresnik, who trained in simulators for his space shuttle mission in 2009 and aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station in 2017.

"Shuttle simulators had two TVs mounted where the windows were, and that was as good as we could get with the technology then," he said. "But the windows themselves in the Orion simulator will be screens showing views of Earth, space and the moon that will be pretty darn impressive."

NASA is installing Orion's display and control system and crew seats to mimic what astronauts will experience in flight. Crews will be trained once they are named for specific missions, the first of which will be the Artemis II mission to fly around the moon.

Although scheduled for 2023, the mission may not occur at that time, according to numerous space experts who have previously told UPI that congressional funding has fallen well short of required levels.

The Trump administration had moved a lunar landing goal up from 2028 to 2024, but President-elect Joe Biden's administration hasn't stated such a goal.

The Orion simulator doesn't move on a mechanical axis as the shuttle did, Bresnik said, because the virtual reality and computer simulations have improved so much as to make that unnecessary.

"The new simulator has a unique capability of pulling out the seat bottoms allowing us to stand, so we're not just stuck in the seat. That's more like how we would float in weightlessness and operate the controls," Bresnik said.

Like shuttle and Apollo simulators, the Orion simulator will prepare astronauts for various emergencies and unplanned events, he said.

Sights and sounds will help the astronauts understand what the spacecraft is doing, in addition to instruments and data, said Bryan Doyle, software architect on the capsule for Lockheed Martin.

"We will generate audio cues, to simulate when mortars fire to release a heat shield, for example, or when a fan turns on," Doyle said. "They need to know what to expect and be able to sense when things are right or not."

Lockheed uses the same software in the simulator that has been used in simulations for the flight controllers and in the capsule itself, Doyle said.

The simulator even would provide views of the Earth in case the mission goes into abort mode upon liftoff, he said.

"We can start the mission at different points throughout the flight," he said. "They don't have to run through an entire 10-day journey to experience events at the moon."

Quelle: SD


Update: 12.01.2021


NASA Accelerates SLS Rocket Hot Fire Test, Invites Media to Pretest Briefing


Teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center will perform the final test in the Green Run testing series for the core stage of the new Space Launch System Saturday, Jan. 16. This image shows liquid oxygen as it naturally boils off and is vented from the four RS-25 engines that will be fired during the final core stage test.
Credits: NASA

Following a test readiness review on Monday, NASA is now targeting Saturday, Jan. 16, for the final test in the Green Run testing series for the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will launch the agency’s Artemis Imission. NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan.12, to discuss the test, known as the hot fire, which will take place at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.


During the test, engineers will power up all the core stage systems, load more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic, or supercold, propellant into the tanks and fire all four engines at the same time.


The Green Run test series is a comprehensive assessment of the rocket’s core stage prior to SLS launching Artemis missions to the Moon. The core stage includes the liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines, and the computers, electronics, and avionics that serve as the “brains” of the rocket. NASA has completed seven of the eight core stage Green Run tests, including loading and draining propellant for the first time during the most recent test, the wet dress rehearsal, on Dec. 20. During the upcoming hot fire test, all four engines will fire to simulate the stage’s operation during launch.

Quelle: NASA


Update: 17.01.2021


SLS core stage ready for Green Run test firing



WASHINGTON — NASA officials expressed confidence that a key test of the Space Launch System scheduled for Jan. 16 will go well, keeping open the chances that the vehicle will make its long-delayed debut before the end of the year.

NASA has scheduled a full-duration static-fire test of the SLS core stage at the Stennis Space Center for Jan. 16. Ignition is planned for 5 p.m. Eastern, with the engines firing for 485 seconds.

The test will be the culmination of the Green Run test campaign for the SLS core stage, which started almost exactly a year ago when the stage was installed on a test stand at Stennis. That series of tests included, most recently, a “wet dress rehearsal” Dec. 20 where the tank was loaded with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants and went through a practice countdown.

That test, agency officials said at a Jan. 12 briefing, went well, with no signs of leaks or other major issues. “As a result of all the wet dress rehearsal testing, we really gained a lot of confidence in the hardware and in our ground support systems,” said Julie Bassler, SLS stages manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

That test was not perfect, though. The countdown stopped a few minutes before the scheduled end because of a timing problem with a valve. John Shannon, vice president and SLS program manager at Boeing, the prime contractor for the vehicle, said a liquid hydrogen fill-and-drain valve closed 0.2 seconds later than expected, halting the test. The issue was that helium used in the pneumatically actuated valve was colder than expected.

Shannon said they decided to adjust the timing to account for any such lags in the future. “We don’t have to be quite that precise and cut it quite that close, so we expanded the timer out so we’ve got sufficient margin,” he said.

The Dec. 20 test was the second attempt at the wet dress rehearsal. A test Dec. 7 stopped while still in its early phases because liquid oxygen flowing into the stage was warmer than expected. NASA attributed that problem to issues with ground systems, and not the SLS itself.

After that earlier test, NASA managers warned there was “very little margin” left in the schedule for a November 2021 launch of the SLS on the Artemis 1 mission, a point they reiterated at the briefing. If the hotfire test goes as planned on Jan. 16, the stage is scheduled to ship to the Kennedy Space Center in February to be integrated with its solid rocket boosters and upper stage, as well as the Orion spacecraft that will be launched on that uncrewed mission.

“Our team is locked in and focused on delivering the rocket for a 2021 launch. We’re continuing to look for opportunities to do things concurrently and improve our schedule,” John Honeycutt, SLS program manager at NASA, said.

Anticipating a successful test, workers at KSC have started stacking segments of the solid rocket boosters, a process that traditionally required the boosters to launch within 12 months. “It’s an opportunity for us to do some risk mitigation” regarding the stacking process, he said. He added they are collecting data about the boosters “to give us the best opportunity to do some sort of a life extension on the booster stacking in the event that we need that.”

Those plans, though, depend on getting through the Green Run successfully. “The reason we test is to learn, and from my perspective and the team’s perspective, we don’t want to do anything that puts the vehicle at risk,” Honeycutt said.

A successful test need not las the full 485 seconds. The key elements of the test are in the first few minutes, said Jeff Zotti, Aerojet Rocketdyne program director for the RS-25 engines that power the core stage. The four engines will ignite one at a time at intervals of 120 milliseconds and then power up to 109% of rated thrust. The engines will remain at that level for 90 seconds, then throttle back to 95% to simulate passing through maximum dynamic pressure, or Max Q, during ascent. After about a minute the engines will throttle back up to 109%.

“If we had an early shutdown for whatever reason, we get all of the engineering data that we need to have high confidence in the vehicle at about 250 seconds,” Shannon said, which includes both the engine throttling as well as some gimbaling of the nozzles. “But we’re going to go ahead and put it through the entire flight profile as long as everything is looking OK.”

Quelle: SN


NASA’s hot fire test to be heard for many miles today

The Space Launch System rocket will be the world’s most powerful rocket when assembled.


NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - History is set to be made this weekend at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

A hot fire test as part of the Artemis program is scheduled between a 4 - 6 p.m. window Saturday, January 16. 

Crews prepare for historic rocket core test at Stennis on Saturday

This one-of-a-kind core fire is the final test to start a new era of space exploration through NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.

The full hot fire test will start up all four RS-25 engines creating quite a noise spreading for many miles. The Stennis Space Center said in a tweet, a 60-mile radius from the site could possibly experience elevated decibel levels.

This means areas as far away as New Orleans and Covington could hear some rumbling but a closer area within 30-miles of Stennis is most likely to experience the more pronounced noise.

When complete, the Space Launch System will be the world’s most powerful rocket taking a man and a woman to the moon by the year 2024. The core test Saturday is a major accomplishment towards the future of the Artemis mission.

Quelle: FOX8


Update: 19.00 MEZ


NASA's SLS Moon Rocket Shuts Down Early in Major Test Fire Before Launch


Although the giant SLS core stage did come to life on the B-2 test stand Jan 16, the four RS-25 engines shutdown early at only 68 seconds into a planned 8-minute test. Photos via NASA TV

Eighteen years to the day since the last launch of shuttle Columbia, NASA, Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne engineers have taken a significant step towards the first launch of the gargantuan Space Launch System (SLS). Four refurbished RS-25 engines—with a combined 1.1 million seconds’ worth of “burn-time” from multiple test-stand runs and no fewer than 25 Space Shuttle missions—roared to life Saturday afternoon on the historic B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center (SSC) in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

On hand was STS-118 astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, whose flight aboard shuttle Endeavour in August 2007 was powered to orbit by one of the powerful engines being tested today. However, for reasons which presently remain unclear, an issue related to the number 4 engine forced an automated premature shutdown a little over a minute into the hoped-for 8-minute burn. It remains to be seen if a second Hot Fire Test will be necessary before the Core Stage ships from Stennis to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida,

Quelle: AS


NASA Conducts Test of SLS Rocket Core Stage for Artemis I Moon Mission

The hot fire is the final test of the Green Run test series
The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a hot fire test Jan. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Credits: NASA Television
On Jan. 16, 2021, NASA fired up four RS-25 engines of the core stage for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket
The hot fire is the final test of the Green Run test series, a comprehensive assessment of the Space Launch System’s core stage prior to launching the Artemis I mission to the Moon.
Credits: NASA Television
The four RS-25 engines fired for a little more than one minute and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust.
The four RS-25 engines fired for a little more than one minute and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust.
Credits: NASA Television

NASA conducted a hot fire Saturday of the core stage for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will launch the Artemis I mission to the Moon. The hot fire is the final test of the Green Run series.



The test plan called for the rocket’s four RS-25 engines to fire for a little more than eight minutes – the same amount of time it will take to send the rocket to space following launch. The team successfully completed the countdown and ignited the engines, but the engines shut down a little more than one minute into the hot fire. Teams are assessing the data to determine what caused the early shutdown, and will determine a path forward.


For the test, the 212-foot core stage generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust, while anchored in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The hot fire test included loading 733,000 pounds of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen – mirroring the launch countdown procedure – and igniting the engines.


"Saturday’s test was an important step forward to ensure that the core stage of the SLS rocket is ready for the Artemis I mission, and to carry crew on future missions,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who attended the test. “Although the engines did not fire for the full duration, the team successfully worked through the countdown, ignited the engines, and gained valuable data to inform our path forward.”


Support teams across the Stennis test complex provided high-pressure gases to the test stand, delivered all operational electrical power, supplied more than 330,000 gallons of water per minute to protect the test stand flame deflector and ensure the structural integrity of the core stage, and captured data needed to evaluate the core stage performance.


“Seeing all four engines ignite for the first time during the core stage hot fire test was a big milestone for the Space Launch System team” said John Honeycutt, the SLS program manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “We will analyze the data, and what we learned from today’s test will help us plan the right path forward for verifying this new core stage is ready for flight on the Artemis I mission.”  


The Green Run series of tests began in January 2020, when the stage was delivered from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and installed in the B-2 test stand at Stennis. The team completed the first of the eight tests in the Green Run series before standing down in March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. After resuming work in May, the team worked through the remaining tests in the series, while also standing down periodically as six tropical storms or hurricanes affected the Gulf Coast. Each test built upon the previous test with increasing complexity to evaluate the stages’ sophisticated systems, and the hot fire test that lit up all four engines was the final test in the series.


“Stennis has not witnessed this level of power since the testing of Saturn V stages in the 1960s,” said Stennis Center Director Rick Gilbrech. “Stennis is the premier rocket propulsion facility that tested the Saturn V first and second stages that carried humans to the Moon during the Apollo Program, and now, this hot fire is exactly why we test like we fly and fly like we test. We will learn from today’s early shutdown, identify any corrections if needed, and move forward.”


In addition to analyzing the data, teams also will inspect the core stage and its four RS-25 engines before determining the next steps. Under the Artemis program, NASA is working to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024. SLS and the Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts to space, along with the human landing system and the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, are NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration.

Quelle: NASA


Update: 2.02.2021


NASA Invites Media to Second Test to Fire Rocket for Artemis Moon Missions


The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a scheduled eight minute duration hot fire test, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Credits: NASA/Robert Markowitz

Media are invited to attend NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s second Green Run hot fire – a test of the rocket’s core stage and all of its integrated systems before its flight on the Artemis I lunar mission. NASA is targeting the week of Feb. 21 for the test in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The date for the test will be set following the test readiness review.


The deadline for media accreditation is 4 p.m. EST Monday, Feb. 8, and will be limited to U.S. citizens only.


All accreditation requests should be submitted online at:


NASA continues to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and will credential a limited number of media for access to Stennis in order to protect the health and safety of media and employees. Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions at Stennis, all attendees will need to follow quarantine requirements.


NASA will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the agency’s chief health and medical officer, and will communicate any updates that may impact media access for the test.


For questions about media accreditation, email

For other questions, contact the Stennis Office of Communications at 228-688-3333.

Reporters with requests for special accommodations should contact Valerie Buckingham at by Tuesday, Feb. 9.


The hot fire is the final in a series of eight tests to ensure the stage’s systems are functioning and ready for operation. During the test, engineers will load propellants into the core stage and allow them to flow throughout the system as the four RS-25 engines fire simultaneously to demonstrate that the engines, tanks, fuel lines, valves, and software can all perform together just as they will on launch day.


Following the test, NASA will ship the core stage to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where engineers will assemble it with the other parts of the Artemis I rocket and the Orion spacecraft.


The core stage was built at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans with contributions from suppliers across the country. Boeing is the lead contractor for the core stage and Aerojet Rocketdyne built the RS-25 engines. Engineers from Stennis, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and SLS contractors will conduct the test.

Quelle: NASA

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