NASA's Boeing moon rocket cuts short in test

NASA's latest Boeing-built space rocket may have to stay on the ground for a while.
The Space Launch System is designed to bring US astronauts back to the moon by 2024 as part of NASA's Artemis program.
During an engine test on Saturday, all four engines of the Space Launch System were ignited together for the first time. However, this only took over a minute, well below the roughly eight-minute goal for the test, which was designed to simulate the internal conditions of a real start.
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It was a crucial test in ending a nearly year-long campaign by NASA and Boeing before an unmanned launch later that year.
The early end of the test on Saturday is only the last of a series of setbacks.
The SLS is three years behind schedule and nearly $ 3 billion over budget.
It is also facing increasing competition from competing heavy lifters in the aerospace market such as Elon Musks' SpaceX.
It's unclear if there will be another test before the official launch, but the project's program manager told reporters that the decision may be made as early as next month.
Video transcript
- NASA's newest Boeing-built space rocket may have to stay on the ground for a while. The Space Launch System is designed to bring US astronauts back to the moon by 2024 as part of NASA's Artemis program. During an engine test on Saturday, all four SLS engines were ignited together for the first time. However, this only lasted over a minute, well below the target of approximately eight minutes for the test, which was supposed to simulate the internal conditions of a real launch.
It was a pivotal test of a nearly year-long campaign by NASA and Boeing before an unmanned debut launch later that year. The early end of the Saturday test is just the latest in a series of setbacks. The SLS is three years behind schedule and nearly $ 3 billion over budget.
It is also facing increasing competition from competing heavy lift lifters in the aerospace market such as Elon Musk's SpaceX. It's unclear if there will be another test before the official launch, but the project's program manager told reporters that the decision may be made as early as next month.
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