NASA to Discuss Second Hot Fire Test of Rocket for Artemis Moon Missions

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  February 17, 2021 
NASA to Discuss Second Hot Fire Test of Rocket for Artemis Moon Missions
A NASA drone photo offers a bird’s-eye view of the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center
A NASA drone photo offers a bird’s-eye view of the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center with the first flight core stage for NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) installed for Green Run testing. The SLS core stage is undergoing a series of tests on its integrated systems prior to its use on the Artemis I mission. NASA is building SLS to return humans, including the first woman, to the Moon as part of the Artemis program and to prepare for eventual missions to Mars. The Green Run series at Stennis culminates with a hot fire of the core stage’s four RS-25 engines, just as during an actual launch.
Credits: NASA

NASA will host a media teleconference at 9 a.m. EST Friday, Feb.19, to discuss the final test in the Green Run testing series for the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will launch the agency’s Artemis I mission.

The team is targeting Thursday, Feb. 25, for the test, known as the hot fire, to take place at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The target date will be confirmed following a test readiness review later this week.

Audio of the teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.

For the test, engineers will power up all the core stage systems, load more than 700,000 gallons of cryogenic, or supercold, propellant into the tanks, and fire all four engines at the same time to simulate the rocket’s core stage operation during launch.

On Jan. 16, NASA conducted the first hot fire of the Artemis I core stage. All four RS-25 engines ignited successfully, but the test experienced an early shutdown after about 67 seconds due to conservative test parameters. After evaluating data from the first hot fire and the seven prior Green Run tests, NASA and core stage lead contractor Boeing determined that a second, longer hot fire test would provide valuable data to help certify the core stage for flight and pose minimal risk to the Artemis I core stage.

Participating in the briefing are:

  • Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, NASA Headquarters
  • John Honeycutt, SLS program manager, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Julie Bassler, SLS stages manager, Marshall
  • Ryan McKibben, Green Run test conductor, Stennis
  • Johnny Helfin, SLS liquid engines manager, Marshall
  • John Shannon, vice president and SLS program manager, Boeing
  • Jeff Zotti, RS-25 program director, Aerojet Rocketdyne

To participate in the teleconference, media must contact Kathryn Hambleton at kathryn.hambleton@xxxxxxxx by 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, for dial-in information. 

The Green Run test series is a comprehensive assessment of the rocket’s core stage prior to SLS launching Artemis missions to the Moon. The core stage includes the liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines, plumbing, and the computers, electronics, and avionics that serve as the “brains” of the rocket.

The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will test the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA is working to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon to pave the way for sustainable exploration at the Moon and future missions to Mars.

For more information about the Green Run test series, visit:



Press Contacts

Kathryn Hambleton
Headquarters, Washington

Tracy McMahan / Ray Osorio
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
tracy.mcmahan@xxxxxxxx / ramon.j.osorio@xxxxxxxx

Valerie Buckingham / Calvin Thompson
Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Miss.
228-688-3898 / 228-363-5499
valerie.d.buckingham@xxxxxxxx / calvin.l.thompson@xxxxxxxx


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