Nasa's $1 billion (£720 million) Mobile Launcher rocket tower is "leaning", according to the space agency. The base of the tower can be moved by NASA's Crawler Transporters and then affix the tower to it through "umbilical" connections.
The tower has leaned a little toward the North, which is in the direction of the rocket on the launch pad.
The initial version, known as SLS Block 1, aims to deliver 8.8 million pounds of liftoff thrust - more than the 7.5 million pounds that the Saturn V rocket mustered for Apollo moon shots.
In total, this mistake will cost NASA almost $1 billion.
NASA's Mobile Launcher (ML) tower captured the attention of space fans everywhere almost a decade ago when construction first began.
'Nasa's mobile launcher is structurally sound, built to specifications, and does not require a design change or modifications. But the rocket's critics say other heavy-lift launch vehicles such as the Falcon Heavy or Blue Origin's yet-to-be-built New Glenn could be configured to do what needs to be done less expensively and more frequently.
This Mobile Launcher was originally made for NASA's Ares program that aimed to support exploration outside the Earth's orbit. "As expected, the mobile launcher is not perfectly still".
The first surveys of the tower's construction back in 2011 included "deflections" and 'imperfections, ' NASA noted.
The spokesperson also added that the lean could be the result of "a combination of welding the different levels and modifying them one at a time from the mobile launcher's original design for the Ares rocket, changes introduced in the structure during these modifications and the additional mass".
'There is no data that indicates a structural issue directly attributed to these imperfections (neither caused by the imperfections or causing the imperfections)'.
The 260-second engine firing at Stennis Space Center in MS represented the toughest test yet for hardware that's destined to go on the Space Launch System, NASA's heavy-lift rocket. The first four flights of SLS will use engines that max out at 109 percent of rated thrust (these same engines operated at 104.5 percent rated thrust when flown on the Space Shuttle).
In a statement, Nasa said: Operators powered one of Nasa's Space Launch System (SLS) engines up to 113 percent thrust level, the highest RS-25 power level yet achieved. This was the third full-duration test conducted on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis this year.
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, which made its debut this month, is now the world's most powerful rocket in operation with 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust.
Increased engine performance is crucial for enabling SLS missions to deep space as the rocket, now being built, evolves over the coming decades to carry astronauts and heavy cargo on a single flight.
The SLS was designed for missions beyond low-Earth orbit carrying crew and cargo to the moon or beyond.
Nasa intends to send humans to "deep-space" destinations such as Mars and the moon aboard the SLS, with a date for a mission to the red planet set for the 2030s.