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NASA Test Fires Booster Designed To Lift NASA’s Next Moon Rockets

Northrop Grumman test fires a full-scale SLS booster from Promontory, Utah. The test will support the design of future SLS boosters beyond NASA's Artemis III mission. Photo: NASA / NASA TV

NASA tested the solid rocket booster that will help send humans to the moon in the second half of the 2020s.

Two of these solid rocket boosters will help launch NASA’s SLS rocket from Kennedy Space Center, producing 75 percent of the rocket’s 9 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

SLS will launch NASA’s Orion capsule on trips to the moon. First an uncrewed mission late next year, followed by two crew missions. The third mission calls for two astronauts to step foot on the lunar surface.

The test Wednesday of the Northrop Grumman built booster in Utah will help engineers and designers make changes for future Artemis missions. The test appeared a success with the booster firing for more than 2 minutes.

NASA’s moon program and SLS rocket have faced increased scrutiny since the rocket is behind schedule and over budget, now estimated to cost more than $9 billion.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »