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Space Launch System - in numbers

Discover how engineers are outfitting the world’s most powerful rocket with sensors, cables and other equipment in this 2:40 video.

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15 May, 2018



Blue Origin launches and lands New Shepard rocket

Watch Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' space tourism company Blue Origin successfully launch and land a used rocket and capsule.

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02 May, 2018



 

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Your partner goes to the shop, but while at the counter gets confused. They swap the number for feet with the number for inches and buy the wrong length of ribbon. When they return home, you measure the ribbon and realise it's just 5/8 of the length that was required. Can you calculate the length of the ribbon that was requested?

News

Final hot-fire test of the SSME

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne completed the final planned test on a Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) at the John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) in Mississippi. The successful hot-fire test was the 2,730th for the SSME, the world’s only reusable liquid hydrogen engine designed for human space flight.

“Because of the extensive testing done at SSC, the SSME is the most reliable and best understood rocket engine ever built,” said Jim Paulsen, SSME program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “The testing conducted at SSC has been critical to the SSME’s safety record and the evolution of improvements to the engine. We’re all proud to be part of this critical effort in support of human space flight.”

The first SSME hot-fire test was conducted on May 19, 1975, leading to the first space shuttle launch on April 12, 1981. The last shuttle mission is slated for late 2010. The SSME is unique because it provides thrust during the boost and upper-stage ascent of a Space Shuttle, safely sending astronauts into space to assemble the International Space Station, conduct microgravity scientific experiments, deploy large spacecrafts such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and retrieve and return large payloads to Earth. The SSME is one of the most complex machines ever built. Three engines generate 1.5 million pounds of thrust – an energy output equivalent to 13 Hoover Dams.
 


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