The Northrop Grumman Corporation has released footage of a test firing of NASA’s new rocket booster.
The test was a “full-scale static fire” conducted by Northrop Grumman and NASA, using the Flight Support Booster-2 from NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the world’s largest solid rocket motor. The SLS will fly on NASA’s upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon and uses a five-segment solid rocket booster to provide over 75% of the SLS rocket’s initial thrust at launch.
The 154-foot-long (46.9 meters) booster fired for more than two minutes, generating over 3.6 million pounds of thrust. The booster segments to be used on the first three missions in the Artemis program are already complete. However, boosters for the Artemis IV mission through Artemis IX have yet to be finalized. Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract in December 2021 to develop the next generation of boosters for the missions.
“Continuous product improvements and obsolescence mitigation helps NASA achieve its long-term mission to utilize SLS for its Artemis program. This opportunity for early learning on next-generation systems will help us develop an enhanced booster that is ready to support the greater payload demands of the SLS rocket through 2031,” said Wendy Williams, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman.