NASA's New Rocket Booster is a Firebreathing God of Thunder

By Chris Mills on at

NASA successfully live-fired the new booster for its Space Launcher System. It's the largest, most powerful booster ever built, putting one hell of a scorch mark into the desert. And yes, there's a video.

The test, which went off without a hitch, is the first of two necessary to qualify the booster for flight. It was designed to test the booster at the upper temperature range: 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The second test, which will happen some time in 2016, will be conducted at 40 degrees, and between the two the rocket scientists will have enough data to run the numbers for any given temperature situation.

The booster will form an integral part of the system that will hopefully take the Orion spacecraft to the further reaches of our solar system, including an asteroid and Mars. But hey, if it can burn some small parts of Utah before going into outer space, all the better. [NASA]