NEW YORK, January 17. /TASS/. NASA specialists carried out test firing of the Space Launch System (SLS) carrier missile engines Saturday. The event was livestreamed on the NASA website.
Four engines, installed on a special stand inside the NASA testing facility, worked simultaneously for about one minute. The firing was expected to last about eight minutes.
Despite the setback, NASA director Jim Bridenstine did not consider the test firing a failure, adding that the Agency specialists will determine the reason behind the unplanned behavior and will be able to eliminate it.
SLS project manager John Honeycutt disclosed that the automatic system was triggered, shutting the engines down. According to Honeycutt, it is too early to tell whether it was a failure of equipment, sensors or software.
In 2019, NASA announced the Artemis moon program, which will include three stages: an unmanned orbiter that will return back to Earth, a manned orbiter and a landing mission, which NASA expects to take place by 2024.
Bridenstine speculated that, considering the Saturday event, the schedule could be reviewed. According to the official, everything depends on what caused the unplanned operation and how difficult it will be to solve the problem.