Science and Exploration

Artemis II Rocket Engines Arrive at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
October 1, 2022
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Artemis II Rocket Engines Arrive at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility
Artemis II Rocket Engines

Teams have delivered the four RS-25 engines that will help power Artemis II, the first crewed mission of NASA’s Artemis missions and second flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Later this fall, the engines will be installed into the Artemis II core stage, which is in the final phase of assembly at Michoud where it was manufactured. Trucks transported the engines in special containers from NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where they were upgraded with new controllers.

Together, the four RS-25 engines will produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust during ascent to help send Artemis II astronauts beyond Earth’s orbit to lunar orbit. Technicians from NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne, the prime contractor for the engines, will store the engines at Michoud and prepare them for integration into the engine section at the bottom of the rocket’s 212-foot-tall core stage. They will use a pathfinder engine to practice the intricate process of installing each engine on the stage prior to installing the flight engines.

The first engine – Engine E2047 — of the flight set flew on 15 space shuttle missions, including the final shuttle mission STS-135. The second engine of the set – Engine E2059 — previously flew on five shuttle missions. The third and fourth engines – E2062 and E2063 – are new engines that include some previously flown hardware.

With the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon and establish long-term exploration in preparation for missions to Mars. SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft, along with the commercial human landing system and the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, are NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.

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