Watch NASA test its main deep space rocket in a cloud of steam

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Watch NASA test its main deep space rocket in a cloud of steam

If you thought NASA's recent booster rocket test for the Space Launch System was full of sound and fury, just wait until you see what happens with the main engines. The agency recently conducted a nearly 8-minute burn test for the RS-25 rocket providing the SLS' core thrust, and the machinery isn't exactly subtle -- as you'll see in the video below, it produced a gigantic steam cloud that seemingly dwarfed the complex. Of course, this dry run wasn't really for show. NASA needed to prove that the RS-25's automated propulsion (which adjusts things like fuel mixture based on throttle demands) will work without a hitch when it's lifting payloads destined for places like Mars. And it's important to note that this is just one of four primary rockets in the SLS. When the finished rocket launches in 2018, it'll put out a fierce 1.6 million pounds of thrust that could make this demo seem timid by comparison.

[Image credit: NASA]

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