Watch NASA Test an Engine From the Most Powerful Rocket in the World


NASA engineers are hard at work perfecting the agency’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, which will be the most powerful rocket on — and off — the planet when it’s done. One crucial aspect of the rocket’s power are its engines, and on Thursday the agency released a 360-degree video of a test one of the four RS-25 engines will perform that will propel the SLS into space. It’s a heck of a sight.

The one engine alone provides 512,000 pounds of thrust, and together with its three fellow engines, the entire rocket produces a whopping 2 million pounds of thrust. Even on the ground where it’s not going anywhere, as was the case for this February 22 test at the Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, that much power is still something to behold.

Combined with the solid booster rockets that will accompany the final rocket, this gives the SLS 8.8 million pounds of thrust — 15 percent more than the Saturn V rockets that powered the Apollo program.

Here's what NASA just tested.


A full launch test for the SLS isn’t scheduled until 2018, but NASA has been testing various components in the meantime. It tested the boosters last year, as seen in some dramatic photos.

Check out the engine test — presented in a full 360-degree view, below.

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