The first test flight of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) with the Orion spacecraft isn't scheduled until late 2018, but luckily we won't have to wait that long to witness a countdown and watch a booster firing. NASA has planned a final test of the SLS booster, which will take place tomorrow, June 28, at 10 a.m. EDT at the Orbital ATK Propulsion Systems’ test facilities in Utah. The event will be live-streamed online for all to see.
According to The Verge, the 17-story-tall booster won't be leaving the ground; instead, it will be secured horizontally. But despite the lack of lift-off, if all goes to plan, testing the booster to what NASA claims is the "world's most powerful rocket" will result in flames and clouds of exhaust that will make for a worthy spectacle.
This isn't the first time the booster has been tested. Its first successful test was held in March 2015, and its performance helped NASA understand more about how temperature affects the booster's propellant. Coverage of the upcoming test will begin on NASA TV at 9:30 a.m. EDT and will be followed by a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EDT, which the public can listen in on via NASA's audio stream.
The video below of last year's launch should give you some idea of what to expect. With the help of the SLS, in the future Orion is slated to take humans to Mars—and beyond.
[h/t The Verge]
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