Stennis Space Center warns area residents of more loud rocket tests Thursday

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A drone image shows the core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket installed on the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss.

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — The Stennis Space Center will be conducting the final hot-fire test in the Green Run test series on NASA’s new Space Launch System core stage this Thursday, March 18.

Thus area Hancock County residents are being warned about elevated decibel levels, however Stennis authorities say the acoustic level is not expected to reach high enough to have any damaging effect.

The anticipated test will involve firing four RS-25 engines to produce a combined 1.6 million pounds of thrust. The acoustic level produced is expected to be about 10-20 decibels higher than during a normal single engine test at the site.

The actual acoustic level experienced by area residents will depend on their location relative to the test site and the prevailing weather conditions.

Stennis hosted a similar hot-fire test in January when WGNO’s Hank Allen sat down with Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RS-25 Program Manager Jeff Zotti over Zoom to discuss the Green Run series designed to begin the Artemis program.

NASA is targeting a two-hour test window that opens at 2 p.m. CDT March 18, for the hot fire test of the SLS core stage. Live coverage will begin shortly prior to the hot fire on NASA Television and the agency’s website, followed by a post-test briefing approximately two hours after the test concludes.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, there will be no public test viewing opportunity on site.

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