Northrop Grumman has successfully tested of Nasa’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket motor for Artemis missions in Promontory, Utah, US.

Known as the Flight Support Booster (FSB-1), the component is a 154ft-long, five-segment rocket motor.  

During the full-scale static fire test, it fired for more than two minutes and generated 3.6 million pounds of thrust.  

The two SLS boosters are designed to offer more than 75% of the initial thrust needed for the rocket launch. 

Northrop Grumman propulsion system vice-president Charlie Precourt said: “Nasa’s Artemis missions, powered by Northrop Grumman boosters, will push the boundaries of what is possible for human exploration in space.  

“We have built, qualified and delivered flight hardware for Artemis I, and we are committed to the continuous improvement and testing of our products to provide the best solid propulsion to fuel Nasa’s missions to the Moon and beyond.” 

Based on the flight-proven design of the space shuttle boosters, the motor features improved technologies and modernised materials. 

When compared with the shuttle boosters, the new five-segment booster configuration is designed to offer 20% improved average thrust. 

Nasa and Northrop Grumman conducted a range of ground tests prior to this test to certify the booster.  

Besides rocket motor segments for Artemis I boosters, Northrop Grumman is also close to completing the second set of motors for the Artemis II.  

Last month, Nasa Artemis I lunar mission’s SLS rocket successfully completed the first four Green Run tests for its 212ft-tall core stage. 

Nasa’s Artemis 1 is the first in a series of missions to enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.