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The SLS rocket comes to life. Photo: NASA TV

NASA staged a ground test of its Space Launch System rocket Saturday. The test — which was expected to see the four engines of the core stage of the huge rocket fire for eight minutes — ended after a little more than a minute.

Why it matters: The SLS, which is years behind schedule, is key to NASA's plans to send people to deep space destinations like the Moon.

Details: This test was designed to be the rocket's last big milestone ahead of being shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Center for its first uncrewed flight to space expected at the end of the year.

  • Engineers are investigating the cause of the early shutdown, and it's not clear whether the space agency will need to re-do the test ahead of shipping the rocket.
  • NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a press briefing that "it's still too early to tell," whether or not the first flight of the SLS could happen this year.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: The SLS is years delayed and billions of dollars over budget.

  • NASA plans to send people back to the surface of the Moon by 2024, but additional delays to the SLS will make meeting that already ambitious deadline increasingly difficult.

Go deeper: The next big NASA rocket's time has come

Editor's note: This story was updated with more information from a post-test NASA press briefing.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jan 26, 2021 - Science

Investment in the space industry overcame the pandemic's headwinds in 2020

A SpaceX launch in 2020. Photo: SpaceX

Investment in the space industry continued to grow in the last quarter of 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from Space Capital.

Why it matters: The space industry turned out to be far more robust in the face of the pandemic than many experts were initially expecting.

Updated 34 mins ago - Economy & Business

Hybrid work now dominates the knowledge economy

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, most knowledge workers are in hybrid work arrangements, partly remote and partly in-office, a new survey finds.

By the numbers: 58% said they now work this way, in a survey of around 10,000 knowledge workers from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan, conducted last November by Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack.

Rents hit all-time high

Data: Zumper; Chart: Axios Visuals

The national median price of a one-bedroom rental apartment in January was up 12% year-over-year, to $1,374 — an all-time high, per Zumper, an online apartment rental site.

Why it matters: Inflation is taking a bigger bite out of people's paychecks these days not only in food and gasoline, but also in housing costs.