NASA has conducted a developmental test on a rocket engine made for traveling to Mars.
The RS-25 is designed to launch the Orion spacecraft, which will eventually be used to carry humanity to Mars. The test is the sixth test in a series of seven given to the engines.
“It is the most complicated rocket engine out there on the market, but that’s because it’s the Ferrari of rocket engines,” said Kathryn Crowe, RS-25 propulsion engineer.
The engine can produce over 12 million horsepower – or 512,000 pounds of thrust – and has a main shaft that rotates more than 10 times as fast as a car moving 60 miles per hour.
In 2018 the SLS and Orion are scheduled to blast off for the first time ever on a flight named Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1). The seven-day training mission will send the unmanned Orion on a journey around the Moon.