Mini models of the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage engines are ignited in a big way for a short-duration hot-fire test. As the main objectives of the Pathfinder Test Program, models of the SLS core stage RS-25 engines and solid rocket boosters — scaled down to just 2 percent of the actual size of the flight hardware — have been designed, built and hot-fire tested at sea-level conditions by Marshall Space Flight Center engineers, in close collaboration with Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y. The replicas will provide data on the convective heating environments that the base of the vehicle will experience upon ascent. The models were developed for base heating testing scheduled for this summer. When completed, SLS, NASA’s new rocket, will be one of the biggest, most powerful rockets ever built.
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