Engines of Boeing rocket fired for only a minute, potentially delaying push to return humans to the moon by 2024

Nasa’s Boeing-built deep space exploration rocket, Space Launch System (SLS), is set to fire its behemoth core stage for the first time on Saturday, a crucial test for a years-delayed US government project facing mounting pressure from emerging private sector technology.

The SLS hot fire test, expected to begin at 5pm CST Saturday at Nasa’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, will cap a nearly year-long “Green Run” test campaign to validate the rocket’s design.

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