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March 18, 2021

Chairs Johnson and Beyer Congratulate NASA and Its Industry Partners on Successful Final SLS Core Stage Test

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully completed a key test for what will become the world’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS core stage test was a simulation of performance during launch. Today’s “hot fire” is the final in a series of tests, known as the Green Run. Today was the second time NASA conducted this test for the SLS core stage. The agency ran a hot fire test in January of this year and successfully fired all four RS-25 engines together for one minute. After evaluating data from the January test, the Agency made the decision to conduct a second and longer hot fire test to ensure the core stage is ready for flight. Following today’s success, NASA will prepare the core stage for shipment to Kennedy Space Center where it will be fully assembled and mated to NASA’s Orion crew spacecraft in preparation for the first integrated SLS-Orion demonstration flight, the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission.

“I’m thrilled that NASA’s SLS second hot fire test is now complete and was successful,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “Achieving this significant milestone is a story of tenacity and dedication, and I congratulate the NASA team and its industry partners who worked through a pandemic and dealt with multiple hurricanes and severe weather over the months leading up to today’s test. I commend the Agency for making the decision to conduct a second hot fire test in order to ensure the core stage is ready for its first flight.

“Today’s successful test brings us one step closer to returning American astronauts to the Moon in preparation for the human exploration of Mars. While getting to this point has come with major challenges, the SLS, along with the Orion crew vehicle and Exploration Ground Systems will enable an exciting new age of American space exploration that will serve as an inspiration for generations to come.”

“Today’s successful SLS test brings us one critical step closer to returning to the Moon and, someday, landing humans on Mars,” said Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA). “After years of development, it’s gratifying to see important and encouraging progress in this key system, which we hope will eventually open opportunities for other scientific missions in addition to NASA’s Moon-Mars program.”