PROMONTORY, Utah (AP) — Officials say the NASA program is one step closer to going deeper into space.

NASA and the Orbital ATK company on Wednesday carried out the first pre-flight test for the Space Launch System in Promontory, Utah. The company said in a statement that the successful qualification ground test is an important milestone because it is using for the first time a five-segment motor. The largest motor of its kind is 154 feet long and 12 feet in diameter.

Officials say the test results indicated that it worked as expected, producing 3.6 million pounds of thrust. On Earth, that is the equivalent of 22 million horsepower. The latest motor is 20 percent more powerful than the previous model and is also cheaper in cost and lighter in weight.