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Enjoy the NASA Mars rocket test firing in 360-degrees

When NASA begins to gear up for its next round of crewed missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond, it will do so using the Space Launch System (SLS). But rockets can be tricky things, with a tendency to get a bit explode-y when things don’t work out. That means there has to be a lot of testing before anyone is willing to strap actual humans on top of one.

NASA recently tested the main rocket in the SLS, the liquid-fueled RS-25 rocket, and recorded the entire thing in 360-degree video. The 512,000-pound-thrust rocket was recorded in HD using a 360-degree camera. The video below allows you to spin the view around as you like. Have some fun with it, and be glad that you can see this incredible test. Because if you were standing anywhere near it, you’d be a pile of ash.

The test focused on one RS-25 rocket, a modified version of what the space shuttle used. The test lasted 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The final model of the rocket will fire for 8.5 minutes solid, enough to produce a total of 2 million pounds of thrust, making it the most powerful rocket in existence. That will be enough to take NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the moon in the short-term, and Mars in the 2030s.

The SLS will feature three blocks – Block 1, Block 1B, and Block 2. Each uses the same core stage with four main engines. Block 1B will feature a second stage called the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS). Block 2 will use that EUS alongside upgraded boosters, which will give it a lifting capacity of 130 metric tons, making it as powerful as the massive Saturn V rocket that took humans to the moon.

Check out the video below and take advantage of the 360-degree abilities to see just how powerful the rocket is. NASA will continue to test the SLS for the next year and a half, leading to a full launch, which is tentatively planned for November 2018.



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Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.