A flurry of activity happened within and beyond the gates of NASA’s Stennis Space Center in 2022 as NASA continues exploring the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all.
The year began much like it ended – by testing RS-25 engines to help power NASA’s Space Launch System rocket on future deep space missions. Every RS-25 engine that will help power the SLS rocket at launch for Artemis missions will be tested at NASA Stennis, including those that will send the first woman and the first person of color to the Moon.
Between test series, NASA Stennis completed multiple upgrades to the Fred Haise Test Stand uniquely tailored for the RS-25 testing effort. The projects included installation of new test stand piping, drilling a special flame bucket hole pattern to help cool RS-25 engine exhaust, and updating the stand’s thrust vector control and data acquisition systems.
Additionally, a vital component needed for Green Run testing of the Exploration Upper Stage to be used on future Artemis missions arrived at the B-2 Test Stand at NASA Stennis as teams continued preparation work.
At the same time, there was some notable testing activity in the NASA Stennis E Test Complex. NASA led and supported testing at the E-1 Test Stand and E-3 Test Stand for commercial companies such as Relativity Space, Blue Origin, Launcher Inc., Ursa Major, and Virgin Orbit. The NASA Stennis team conducted campaigns to test a range of rocket engine components throughout the year, and operations and design work for existing and new partners also is underway to support E Test Complex projects in 2023.
On another front, the Autonomous Systems Laboratory (ASL) at NASA Stennis continues to be a leader in the design and deployment of autonomous systems. NASA Stennis is working with other agency centers to create a concept for a lunar rover that will autonomously mine lunar raw materials for processing and use on the Moon.
In 2022, the Strategic Business Development Office continued its work to promote the NASA Stennis federal city model and attract new companies on site. The center also received a prestigious agency award for its work as a leader in sustainability and energy use reduction.