NASA's RS-25 engine is an absolute beast. The space agency posted a 360-degree video last week showing the engine during a hot-fire test in Mississippi on February 22. The engine kicks in like an angry dragon, sending smoke, fire and water flying hard enough to completely cover one of the camera views.
The engine delivered 512,000 pounds of thrust during the test. Eventually, it will team up with three other RS-25 engines to provide 2 million pounds of thrust to power NASA's Space Launch System, the agency's most powerful rocket. NASA describes the SLS as "an advanced launch vehicle for a new era of exploration beyond Earth's orbit into deep space."
The SLS will eventually power both crew and cargo missions. NASA hopes to launch the first flight test in 2018 with an Orion spacecraft attached.
The video serves as a highlight reel for the hot-fire test, and it's thrilling to immerse yourself in the sounds and visuals of the engine's fury. Now just imagine being an astronaut rocketing into space with four of these attached to your spacecraft...