NASA Successfully Tests New Rocket Engine
The American space agency successfully tested a powerful new rocket engine this week in the desert of northern Utah.
The rocket booster is meant to take astronauts to the planet Mars one day.
This was the second and last qualification ground test for what NASA officials are calling the "most powerful rocket in the world." NASA is short for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
An uncrewed test flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft is planned for 2018. Manned flights could begin within years if that test is successful.
Space agency officials were pleased with the results of the test.
"This final qualification test of the booster system shows real progress in the development of the Space Launch System," said William Gerstenmaier. He is the associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the space agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Gerstenmaier said the new engine can produce 1.6 million kilograms of thrust, or force. The successful test shows the progress NASA is making in human exploration of space, he added.
The American company Orbital ATK conducted the test for NASA. The 47-meter booster rocket engine was tested in a horizontal position, sending fire across the test area.
The test itself lasted only two minutes, but that was enough for NASA to collect data about 82 different areas of the engine's performance. It is part of the process to certify the booster for flight.
The booster is part of the Space Launch System NASA officials are developing for space flight. They say two boosters and four main engines will be used after the system is fully developed. Those engines will produce more than four million kilograms of thrust, enough to lift a large rocket off of Earth and toward Mars.
But sending humans on a flight to the Red Planet is still many years away. NASA says a manned trip to Mars might start sometime in the 2030s.
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1.space agency 航天局
Something akin to panic swept the National Aeronautic and Space Agency.
2.pleased with 对...感到高兴
I should like to add that we are pleased with the result.
3.space flight 航天
If computers had not been invited, many problems on space flight could not have been solved.
4.Manned flights 载人飞行
The island nation has announced that it hopes to initiate manned flights to the moon by 2025.
1.Those engines will produce more than four million kilograms of thrust, enough to lift a large rocket off of Earth and toward Mars.
more than 多于
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2.The 47-meter booster rocket engine was tested in a horizontal position, sending fire across the test area.
test area 测试区；实验区
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被NASA人员称为“世界上最强力的火箭”是第二次、也是最后一次进行地面合格性试验 。NASA是美国国家航空航天局的简称 。
2018年，NASA“猎户座飞船”将进行无人试飞 。若试验成功，几年内即可进行载人飞行 。
“最后一次推进器的合格性测试显示出，我们在太空发射系统方面有了突破进展 。”威廉·格斯坦梅尔说 。他是NASA华盛顿特区总部人类探索与行动使命理事会的副行政官 。
据格斯坦梅尔介绍，新型推进器能够产生160万公斤的的推力，或动力 。他补充说，这次试验的成功也显示出NASA在人类进行太空探索方面取得飞跃式的进步 。
NASA这次试验由美国Orbital ATK公司主导 。火箭推进器引擎长47米，以水平位接受试验，整个试验区域都被点燃 。
试验虽然只持续了两分钟，但也足够NASA收集推进器在82个不同指标上的数据 。这是为了飞行安全而确保推进器工作状况的一部分 。
NASA官员正在为太空飞行而开发太空发射系统，推进器是其中的一部分 。他们说，等到系统完全开发之后，将投入使用两个推进器和四个主引擎 。这些引擎将产生超过400万公斤的推力，足以将巨大的火箭推离地球、推向火星 。
但是将人类送往火星上还需要很多年 。NASA称，21世纪30年代可能会实现载人火星之旅 。