During AA-2, the booster will send the LAS and Orion to an altitude of 31,000 feet at Mach 1.15 (more than 1,000 mph).
In a news conference following the launch, Don Reed, NASA's manager of the Orion Program's Flight Test Management, said the abort structure accelerated 260 miles per hour faster than booster was carrying the rocket, bringing the capsule's speed to over 1000 miles per hour breifly.
The test was created to verify the abort system would work as required in a worst-case scenario, when an SLS booster will be subjected to the most extreme aerodynamic forces during an actual climb to space.
The stakes are high, not just for the space agency, but for America's White House as well. Late previous year, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were saved after the abort system of their Russian spacecraft kicked in two minutes after liftoff.
At that same instant, explosive bolts fired to free the LAS and the dummy Orion capsule from the still-firing booster.
A return of U.S. astronauts to the moon is expected in 2024 at the earliest.
"By all first accounts, it was a ideal test", said Mark Kirasich, Orion program manager.
A little over 20 seconds later, the jettison motor pulled the capsule away from the rocket.
Barely a minute after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the abort motor fired, pulling the capsule from the booster about six miles (10 kilometres) up.More news: European Union leaders fail to agree on bloc leadership
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In real life conditions, parachutes would open to ease the manned capsule's fall toward the Atlantic. The savings amounted to about $30 million.
Although data flowed to the ground as expected, the test included 12 back-up data recorders (equipped with Global Positioning System trackers) which were ejected into the ocean in pairs as the capsule tumbled its way to an impressive, and destructive, meeting with the water. There are 900 sensors on the vehicle to measure temperature, pressure and acoustics, she said.
Recorders will likely wash up on the beach because they can float.
The Small Launch and Targets Division, which manages the Rocket Systems Launch Program, provides space and target launches for government programs.
The launch abort system is created to pull an Orion capsule and its crew to safety from the launch pad through all phases of powered flight.
However, it was a successful test.
'We are incredibly excited, ' said Jenny Devolites, Ascent Abort-2 crew module manager and test conductor. "It's the only one of its type in the dynamic flight environment, the environment where it's going to be needed the most".
One of the engines which is set to carry the Orion spacecraft, and ultimately a crew, to the moon and beyond.