The Space Launch System was suggested to undergo a crucial “Green Run” test, 4 months ago, but due to some development delays, the test is skipped for now. But on July 25, Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator said that these tests would be retained. He said that the core stage of SLS would perform a static-firetest for eight minutes at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; tentatively next year.
Lisa Bates, the deputy stages manager of SLS at NASA said that the Green Run test will give the confidence that the new core stage will be able to perform as it is expected. But at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing on March 27, Bridenstine said that the test may not be important.
A day before this hearing, Mike Pence, the vice President had announced that NASA would be able to land humans on moon till 2024 (four years earlier than predicted). Bridenstine said that while the administration is working on ways to develop the SLS, skipping the Green Run test can move the first launch date further by 6 months. Outer advisors and members of Congress went strictly against the decision and asked NASA to retain it.
NASA did not reach a decision about the test but is working on retaining it. Bridenstine said that new leaders are required to be recruited at the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. Bill Hill and Bill Gerstenmaier were reassigned on July 10, before any decision was made about the test.
The Senate Commerce Committee chairman, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss)appreciated the Bridenstine administration to move forward on the Green Run test. The director of Stennis Space Center, Richard Gilbrech said that they are looking forward to continue on the core stage of SLS; and as soon as all modifications to the B-2 test stand (used for the Saturn V and main engines) are done, they will be a step closer to moon and Mars.