Watch a Rocket Test for NASA’s Artemis Missions to the Moon

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Testing the Space Launch System Rocket Booster
To get to the Moon, first we need to test the rocket engines that will take us there.

This week, we completed a full-scale booster test for our Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in Promontory, Utah. For a little over two minutes — the same amount of time that the boosters power the SLS rocket during liftoff and flight for each Artemis mission — the booster fired in the Utah desert, producing more than 3 million pounds of thrust.
NASA Tests Space Launch System Rocket Booster for Artemis Missions
The booster firing was conducted with new materials and processes that may be used for our SLS rocket boosters. Together with Northrop Grumman, the SLS boosters lead contractor, we’ll use data from the test to evaluate the motor’s performance for Artemis missions beyond the initial Moon landing in 2024.

Artemis is the next step in human space exploration as part of our broader Moon to Mars exploration approach. Experience gained at the Moon will enable humanity’s next giant leap: sending humans to Mars.
Explore Humanity’s Return to the Moon
This Week in Space
What's Up in the Night Sky? – This month, spot the Moon together with Mars and Venus. Looking toward the south in September, there's really only one relatively bright star for most of us who live near cities. The relatively bright star Formalhaut appears low in the sky after sunset.
Sky Watching Tips
COVID-19 and the Environment – From orbit, Earth-observing satellites send back images that reveal connections between COVID-19 and the environment. We've funded eight new projects to use this data to better understand the pandemic's environmental, economic, and societal impacts.
Learn About the New Projects
Predicting Hurricane Intensity – A Jet Propulsion Laboratory team developed an experimental computer model that could help improve predictions on hurricanes that may rapidly intensify. This new forecast model learns from previous storm data and could give people in the path of these intense systems a better chance to prepare.
Find Out About the Research
You Can Make a Difference – Be part of the Space Apps Challenge, an international hackathon for innovators like you to use our free, open data to address real-world problems. Winning teams will get a chance to see a rocket launch in the U.S. and present their ideas to NASA. The virtual event is Oct. 2-4 and focuses on the theme “Take Action.”
Register Now for Space Apps 2020
People Spotlight
Meet Holly Ridings – As the chief flight director at our Johnson Space Center, Holly Ridings is the first woman to lead the elite group that directs human spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, as well as upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond.
“NASA flight directors need a unique mixture of confidence and humility, innovation and organization. The situations you have to deal with are occasionally very tough, and the stakes are always very high.”
Do you have what it takes to join our next class of flight directors? We’re accepting applications Sept. 3-10 and will announce selections later this fall.
Apply Now and Learn About NASA Careers
Image Spotlight
This image from our Hubble Space Telescope depicts a small section of the Cygnus supernova blast wave. The original supernova explosion blasted apart a dying star about 20 times more massive than our Sun between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Blair; acknowledgment: Leo Shatz
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