Science and Exploration

Waiting For The SLS Core Stage

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
June 10, 2021
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Waiting For The SLS Core Stage
SLS Stacking

An overhead view shows the fully stacked twin solid rocket boosters for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on top of the mobile launcher inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 9, 2021.
Teams with NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and contractor Jacobs are making final preparations to integrate the boosters with the SLS core stage, which arrived at Kennedy in April 2020. Manufactured by Northrop Grumman in Utah, the twin boosters provide more than 75 percent of the total SLS thrust at launch.

When integrated, the 212-foot, 188,000-pound core stage and twin boosters will provide more than 8.8 million pounds of thrust to launch Artemis I. The first in an increasingly complex series of missions, Artemis I will test SLS and the Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights in which NASA will land the first woman and person of color on the Moon.

Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux KSC-20210609-PH-FMX01_0007

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