Science and Exploration

Aft Exit Cones For Artemis I Delivered

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
December 23, 2019
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Aft Exit Cones For Artemis I Delivered
SLS Aft Cones

The two Northrop Grumman-manufactured aft exit cones for the Space Launch System’s solid rocket boosters arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The left aft exit cone (in the background) arrived Nov. 4 and the right aft exit cone (in front) arrived Dec. 9, 2019. Both were shipped by truck from Promontory, Utah. Upon arrival, the exit cones were transported to the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility (RPSF) where they will be checked out and prepared for the Artemis I uncrewed test flight.

The aft exit cones sit at the bottommost part of each of the twin boosters and are attached to the nozzle. The exit cones help provide added thrust for the boosters, while protecting the aft skirts from the thermal environment during launch.

Other booster segment hardware currently at Kennedy are the forward assemblies which include: a forward skirt, frustum and nose cap, which house the avionics and the aft skirt assemblies, which contain the thrust vector control system. Each assembly also contains four booster separation motors. The forward and aft assemblies are nearing the end of assembly operations in the Booster Fabrication Facility and will be ready for integration in the RPSF soon.

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett Larger image

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.