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1. NASA recently did something you probably never knew you wanted to do until now: filled a megarocket fuel tank with so much liquid hydrogen it exploded (on purpose).
2. The megarocket, which originally looked like this, is part of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), which will eventually transport humans to Mars, the Moon, and beyond. The first stop is the Moon, with NASA going full-speed ahead for it's 2024 Moon mission. Until then, there will be a lot of testing, and hopefully that involves blowing up a few more things.
3. At the Marshall Space Flight Center, engineers pumped the test tank full of way more liquid hydrogen than it was meant to take to simulate a point of failure - meaning they now have more data to build new rockets more intelligently. The tank withstood 260% of expected flight loads for over five hours before spotting a breaking point, which can be seen in this GIF as what looks like little bits of confetti falling from the tank. Dainty.
4. What happens next isn't so dainty. KABLOOM! A satisfying explosion. Although it looks chaotic, the tank actually acted according to predictions, making everyone hopeful about moving forward with the next stages of the Artemis program. One step closer to tasting that moon cheese!
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