NASA powered up the Space Launch System for the first time Thursday to demonstrate the rocket’s flight avionics and software, both of which were developed by Boeing.
The SLS reached first light status after the electronic flight guidance and manager was integrated into the launch vehicle at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, NASA said Thursday.
During the test, NASA sought to calibrate the software with the rest of the equipment ahead of a scheduled SLS flight test in 2017.
“The avionics are like the central nervous system for the launch vehicle,” said Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA.
“They’re of critical importance and testing them early helps us build a more robust rocket.”
Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS flight computers and supporting avionics hardware.