NASA engineers at Stennis Space Center are moving forward in the process of testing a rocket engine that is designed to one day take humans to Mars.
The RS-25 flight engine successfully hot-fired for 500 seconds. That's the amount of time it takes for a rocket to get from ground to space. Jeff Henderson is director of the A-1 test stand at Stennis.
"All of this testing is part of getting the engines ready for service during SLS program launches," he says. "The Space Launch System - that's SLS - is NASA's vehicle for getting humans into deep space, including missions to Mars and to asteroids."
NASA says, the next time this engine is run for this long, it will be taking humans on a deep-space mission into lunar orbit.