Watch NASA fire up its SLS rocket engines to test far-out mission technologies (video)

NASA has not yet launched an Artemis mission to Mars, but the agency is currently testing engines for future missions.NASA completed its sixth RS-25 engine hot fire test on Thursday, Aug. 5, demonstrating the advanced capabilities of an engine that was used for decades in the space shuttle program from 1981 through 2011.Aerojet Rocketdyne in California made the RS-25 engine. It was fired at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, for 500 seconds (more that eight minutes) to replicate the time it would take to lift the first stage of the Space Launch System (SLS).NASA stated that it had already tested the engines for four rocket Artemis missions to Mars. This allowed operators to focus on collecting data to verify and demonstrate future engine capabilities. NASA also added that the test allowed them to examine new components for engine production to reduce cost and operational risk.Video: NASA test-fires SLS rocket engine in MississippiRelated: NASA's SLS moon rocket is now in placeNASA conducts a hot-fire single-engine test of the RS-25 rocket engine at its Stennis Space Center on Aug. 5, 2021. NASA image creditNASA stated that the RS-25 test was conducted on Thursday to assess how new manufacturing processes work in getting engines ready for flight.The agency stated in the same statement that "NASA verified new manufacturing methods while evaluating engine's low pressure fuel turbopump performance." The pump dramatically increases the pressure of liquid hydrogen delivered to the high pressure fuel turbopump to prevent cavitating and the formation of bubbles or voids that could cause damage to machinery.An uncrewed Artemis 1 mission aboard a SLS is planned for a round the moon trip in 2021. Although the crewed Artemis II moon orbiting and Artemis 3 lunar-landing missions are scheduled later in the decade than the previous administration, it has yet to be confirmed by the Biden administration. (NASA had previously set 2024 as the date for landing.NASA's effort to establish a long-term presence at the moon, Artemis, is part of its efforts to make exploration more accessible to all types of people than the Apollo crewed effort.The agency has promised to place the first woman and first person of color on moon. This is in addition to Apollo's 12 white men. A Canadian astronaut, however, will join Artemis 2.Follow Elizabeth Howell @howellspace. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Spacedotcom