The space agency released a mesmerising image of the huge Space Launch System (SLS) rocket loaded at the Stennis Space Center. Pictures from NASA reveal the sheer size of the rocket, which is able to hold a staggering 733,000 gallons of propellant and stands at a whopping 321 feet tall.
NASA stated that the SLS will undergo a Green Run test, which will verify whether the rocket is ready for a test launch or not.
An image of the rocket against a backdrop of a purple and red sunset was accompanied by the caption: “All eyes are on south Mississippi with this month’s delivery and installation of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s first core stage to Stennis Space Center for a milestone Green Run test series prior to its Artemis I flight.
“The Green Run testing will be the first top-to-bottom integrated testing of the stage’s systems prior to its maiden flight.
“The testing will be conducted on the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis, located near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and the nation’s largest rocket propulsion test site.
“Green Run testing will take place over several months and culminates with an eight-minute, full-duration hot fire of the stage’s four RS-25 engines to generate two million pounds of thrust, as during an actual launch.”
NASA announced last year that it will return humans to the Moon by 2024, where they will establish a lunar colony.
The mission will see them place humans back on the Moon for the first time since 1972.
The space agency has decided it has unfinished business on our lunar satellite and wants to set up a permanent base on the Moon, with the missions hopefully taking place in 2024.
The base would be used as a checkpoint between Earth and Mars while also allowing astronauts to study the Moon in close detail.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine made the announcement that he wants to set up a lunar colony and called on “the best and brightest of American industry to help design and develop “human lunar landers”.
The space agency is also upping the ante in its bid to get humans to Mars.
NASA will launch the Mars 2020 rover this year, which will explore the Red Planet as preparation for humanity’s arrival, which could happen in the next decade.
NASA said: “NASA’s latest mission to Mars – a mission that will receive a new name before launch – will be the latest rover to head to the Red Planet, but it’s not going alone.
“To aid it in its exploration, it’s carrying the first helicopter that will fly on another planet.”
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