NASA’s Florida-based Kennedy Space Center is now testing different vibration modes of the Space Launch System, a rocket designed to launch the Orion spacecraft to the Moon.
Distinguishing between SLS's natural and vibration frequencies can help the rocket's flight software and navigation system safely control flight, the space agency said Friday.
“The information will also be fed into the flight computers so when SLS is flying, the computers know which vibrations are natural to the rocket and which are caused by external forces,” said John Blevins, chief engineer for the SLS.
The testing effort will take 10 hours a day over a series of several, consecutive days. Sensors will continue data collection during the roll-out of SLS's flight stack, after the testing campaign.
NASA will also practice the launch countdown in a wet dress rehearsal, where sensors will continue to gather data.
The vibration modal testing serves as a preparatory activity for Artemis I, where SLS will lift an uncrewed Orion unit for a lunar flyby demonstration.