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SLS core stage successfully completes 8-minute static fire test

NASA and Boeing today successfully completed a full 8-minute static fire test of the core stage of its first SLS rocket.

This was their second attempt, the first terminating prematurely after about one minute in January.

They must now analyze the test to make sure all went well. If it did, they then must figure out how long it will take to get the stage prepped and shipped to Florida and then prepped for launch. The schedule presently calls for a November launch. It is expected that date will be delayed, anywhere from one to three months.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Sam

    Speaking of sls, former senator Nelson will be nominated tomorrow for the position of nasa administrator

  • wayne

    I’ll toss this in here…

    How Amateur Radio Fans Decoded SpaceX’s Telemetry & Engineering Video
    Scott Manley 3-15-21

  • Jay

    Thanks Wayne!
    Been using those RTL-SDRs for years now. Depending on the software used they work well as a receiver and a poor-man’s spectrum analyzer. A couple years ago there was an article in the AMSAT Journal (Amateur Radio Satellite) on making a receiver project to decode telemetry from ham radio satellites using these RTL-SDRs. Looks like a couple hams decided to point it at all objects in sky. By the way the project cost less than $60 in parts.



  • Patrick Underwood

    Sam: perfect. What better way to accelerate NASA’s HSF plunge into irrelevance.

    I say this not gladly, but sadly.

  • Tom

    There was a raging fire just above one of the engine bells early on. The camera operators stopped going to that camera after minute two or so. I was waiting for the whole thing to blow apart spectacularly but someone upstairs must have thought that NASA has had enough and gave them a pass.

  • Jeff Wright

    I’ve heard some say that development would have been eased with 3 or 6 engines…but the Energiya 4 was used. Marshall almost got its RD-0120 engines before the end of the thaw. Glushko hated hydrogen-and yet this channel-wall engine wound up easier than the Zenit style strap-ons. Same with the way M-10was headed. The Ares V was to be ten meters wide and use RS-68s with much fewer parts-then Obama killed it and new spacers join him in trying to destroy hydrogen infrastructure. Ironic. I think Musk should make the scaled up larger Super-Heavy capable of lofting a modified SLS with air start. This Super-Heavy II should accept solids to have the strength to put Orion hulls in Orbit for nuke-pulse units to be added later.

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