STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss (WALA) -- A historic test is set to happen this weekend in Mississippi that will lay the ground work to get the next man and the first woman to the moon.
On Saturday, they will test fire part of the rocket that will be the world’s most powerful ever built.
They will be simulating a launch all while it is securely strapped in.
If the test goes well, later this year, we will see the rocket blast off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“This is an exciting test, we’re testing the whole vehicle, it’s the flight vehicle,” said Doug Bradley from Aerojet Rocketdyne.
“It’s going to be the biggest test we’ve done out there in the last 40 years,” said Gary Benton from Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
They have tested the engine type before, but they have never hot fired four of them at the same time.
“This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this so it’s going to be four times as loud as a single engine test would be,” Benton said.
Saturday’s final test is the culmination of years of work.
The rocket’s engines will fire at the same time for about eight minutes, simulating a launch.
It will not take flight, but it will generate 1.6 million pounds of thrust.
“Thunder from a thunderstorm is what it will sound like and the closer you are of course the louder it will be,” Benton said,
NASA predicts people within 60 miles of Stennis might hear it or feel it.
If the test is successful the core stage will head to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for the un-crewed Artemis 1 mission which could happen later this year.
“This is the one that once we test it we’re shipping it to KSC and we’re going to fly and orbit the moon,” Bradley said. “If you can’t get excited about that you need to check your pulse.”
There is a lot of excitement that Saturday’s test is just the beginning.
The end goal is getting the next man and the first woman to the moon by 2024.
“I was a kid when we landed on the moon and now we’re going back,” Bradley said. “I remember that Tom Hanks movie where at the end of the movie Tom Hanks is doing a little narrative and he says ‘I wonder when will we be going back and who will that be.’ Well that’s us.”
After the moon, the goal is Mars.
There will be no public viewing on Saturday because of COVID, but FOX10 News will be there at Stennis covering the 4 pm test.
If you want to watch, click here.