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Sun, Jan 17, 2021

SLS Hot Fire Test Terminated Minutes Early

Onboard Software Acted Appropriately And Initiated A Safe Shutdown Of The Engines

Teams from NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Program conducted a hot fire of the Artemis I core stage on Jan. 16 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.

What should have happened was this... Engine ignition should have started at approximately six tenths of a second before T-0, beginning with Engine 1, then Engines 3, 4, and 2 ignited in sequence a few hundredths of a second apart. The test was expected to last about 8 minutes and included three different power levels for the engines, as well as two 30-second engine gimballing, or pivoting, movements to simulate flight steering commands. Depending on the rate propellant is burned the time was estimated to range from 485 to 493 seconds to simulate launch.

But... that didn't happen.

All four RS-25 engines ignited successfully, but the test was stopped early after about a minute. At this point, the test was fully automated. During the firing, the onboard software acted appropriately and initiated a safe shutdown of the engines. During the test, the propellant tanks were pressurized, and this data will be valuable as the team plans the path forward. In coming days, engineers will continue to analyze data and will inspect the core stage and its four RS-25 engines to determine the next steps.

More info to follow...

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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