NASA Puts Boeing Avionics For The Most Powerful Rocket Ever Built
HUNTSVILLE, TX: NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which is meant to replace the retired Space Shuttle program, reached a major milestone earlier this month. The Boeing developed avionics system that will guide the “most powerful rocket ever built,” saw its first light, said NASA. The hardware, software and operating systems for SLS were integrated and powered up for the first time for testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. This early testing of avionics and software enables NASA to tune and perfect the system prior to its 2017 maiden test flight. “The avionics are like the central nervous system for the launch vehicle. They’re of critical importance and testing them early helps us build a more robust rocket,” said Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA. The computers and avionics will be housed in the rocket’s core stage, which when completed will be more than 200 feet tall and will store the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the rocket’s RS-25 engines. Preparations are underway at the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center to test the RS-25 engines of the rocket that will transport humans and cargo deeper into space– taking one step closer to manned Mars missions.