The US Space Agreement NASA explains the demolition of the rocket drive test of last weekend with its own caution. Deliberately conservative settings in the steering of the drives had led to the demolition. The rocket engines themselves were easily run and remained unscathed in the test.
The NASA had tested four RS-25 engines of the planned Space Launch System (SLS) at the weekend, as part of the preparations for the Mission Artemis I. Instead of simulating the complete rocket start of eight minutes as planned, the advice for the new NASA moon mission turned off prematurely.
Steering of the rocket engines responsible
After a first analysis, NASA makes the steering of the rocket drives responsible for the demolition. The engines must be flexible to control the rocket. However, the corresponding hydraulic system has exceeded the preset limit values during the test. This has the automatic shutdown drawn.
NASA explains that she had deliberately chastened careful attitudes for the rocket test on the ground to ensure the safety of engines. In flight, the rocket had continued its way normally by balancing the thrust through the other drives.
Four RS-25 rocket engines in the Test January 2021
Overall, the NASA assesses the drive test as a success. All four rocket engines had worked out as expected and the full for the start of the Artemis I rocket achieved thrust.
Second rocket test recommended
Whether a second rocket drive test is necessary, the NASA wants to decide after further analysis of the collected data. Then the parameters could be adjusted somewhat to avoid a renewed free shutdown.
The former head of the Space shuttle program, Wayne Hale, recommends that NASA another test to collect more data. This was costing a few weeks, but the schedule was secondary.