NASA Is Practicing SLS Assembly

©NASA

Space Launch System (SLS) booster segment

Technicians with NASA's Exploration Ground Systems rehearse booster stacking operations inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept. 14, 2020, in preparation for Artemis I.

The exercise involved using booster segment mock-ups, referred to as pathfinders. During the rehearsal, an aft pathfinder segment was prepared in High Bay 4 of the VAB, after which a team of crane operators moved it over to High Bay 3, where it was placed on the mobile launcher. Careful measurements were then taken before the team added a center pathfinder to the stack. Stacking of the actual Space Launch System (SLS) booster segments will occur later this year, when the rocket's core stage arrives at Kennedy. Artemis I is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will test SLS and the Orion spacecraft as an integrated system prior to crewed flights to the Moon.


Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-20200914-PH-KLS01_0067 Larger image

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