The biggest rocket ever built just reached a crucial milestone on its journey to the stars.
The massive rockets that power NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) were just subjected to the longest burn at their highest power yet.
The intense review pushed the SLS’s engines to their maximum potential. The huge engines reached 113% power and were at maximum thrust for 430 seconds — 4X longer than previously.
This represents a crucial step on the SLS’s journey to space.
Now that the engines powering the immense rocket have been pushed to their limit, what’s next for the SLS?
The huge rocket’s four engines will travel down to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to be assembled with the core stage of the rocket. Once they are joined with the core stage, the rocket will undergo a full engine assessment in 2020 before launching on its first unmanned mission.