Two years after the first test of the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA officially unveiled the "most powerful rocket ever built" to the public. Space Service Director Jim Bridestine stressed that another very important test for the SLS, this time for the fuel tank, was successfully completed in part.
For this test a copy of the actual liquid hydrogen tank was used where it was exposed to high compression, voltage, and bending conditions, with resistance measured with the help of thousands of sensors controlling tension, pressure and temperature. NASA also used cameras and microphones to detect any bumps in the tank.
The test, as mentioned above, was partially successful because the tank reached the limit predicted by the scientists and then collapsed. This means that the models were perfectly correct and the necessary improvements can be made to pass the test. By the end of these tests the basic stage of assembly and control of the SLS central body will have been finally completed.
The plan for the SLS is far behind the original schedule. The goal was to be ready in 2019, but now programming says that the first launch test will be in 2021 and if all goes well, it will be ready for Artemis' mission to the moon in 2024.