On July 25, NASA tested one of its RS-25 engines. The RS-25 engine isn’t just any engine — it’s a rocket engine that will launch the most powerful rocket in history — the Space Launch System (SLS) — in 2019.
This was the third successful test of the RS-25 engines. When SLS launches, there will be four RS-25 engines helping it lift off — as well as two solid rocket boosters.
In total, the rocket will generate 8 million pounds of thrust, enabling it to lift a payload weighing the equivalent of 11 African elephants into space.
That might sound like a lot, but this is the rocket that NASA might one day use to send the first astronauts to Mars. If that mission comes, it will require a lot of supplies. Suffice it say, this rocket was built to get the job done right.
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