Breakdown during engine test for Nasa’s lunar program

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The U.S. space agency Nasa must record a failure in its lunar program Artemis: The engines of the new launch vehicle Space Launch System (SLS) did not work as expected during a test on Saturday at the Stennis Space Center in the state of Mississippi, as Nasa announced. The test firing was supposed to last a good eight minutes, but aborted after about a minute. Nasa experts are now trying to figure out the reason for the premature shutdown.

Despite everything, however, the test of the RS-25 engines provided valuable information, Nasa stressed. Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine spoke of an “important step forward” in preparing the rocket’s main stage for the Artemis 1 mission and future manned missions.

Nasa plans to use the SLS rockets and an Orion space capsule to put astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972. The Artemis 1 mission is scheduled to launch at the end of this year as a test flight to the moon. Initially still without a crew, it will orbit the moon and then return to Earth. With Artemis 2, astronauts are to orbit the moon in 2023. Artemis 3 is scheduled to land on the moon with astronauts in 2024.

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