NASA just tested the 'Ferrari of rocket engines'


NASA fired off a test of its RS-25 engine, what it calls the "Ferrari of rocket engines," at 2 pm PT/5 pm ET/10 pm GMT today, and initial results indicate it was a success.

The space agency provided a live feed to the action at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on its website, giving the public an up-close, visceral look at the sheer power of the RS-25.

The liquid-hydrogen burning RS-25 is a whole new rocket, which NASA calls "one of the most complex and efficient rocket engines in the world." It's part of the NASA's plan to send humans to Mars, asteroids and beyond: implemented in the new Space Launch System, four RS-25s will power the core stage of launches.

Today was the sixth of seven static fire tests, and NASA wanted to gather intel on how the engine's new controller performs during this run. The agency also wanted to put the engine through the paces of more extreme start conditions than would be expected during flight. The test lasted 535 seconds (or about nine minutes), with the engine itself running for about eight minutes.

Get a closer look at the RS-25 in the video below, plus check out the nifty infograph NASA put together on its mighty new booster:

RS-25 inforgraph

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.