Social media followers got an up-close look at the completed core stage of NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket. This was during ‘Artemis Day’ December 9, 2019, at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. Administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke in front of the rocket stage.
It will power the first Artemis flight to the Moon, as they prepare to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.
Mr Bridenstine said: “Thank you for being here on this very important day when we get to announce core stage complete for, in fact, the SLS rocket, the most powerful rocket ever built in human history.
“We are making significant progress.
“By the end of the year we’re going to be moving it out of the Michoud Assembly Facility.”
He continued: “We’re going to take it to the Stennis Space Center. We’re going to do a green run test.
“We’re going to prove its capability.
“We’re going to get it to the Cape and we’re going to be ready to launch American astronauts to the Moon again.
“And getting our first woman a next man to the South Pole of the Moon in 2024.”
The core stage Green Run tests will pave the way for successful Moon missions, and it is the final test series ahead of the Artemis I launch.
The series will mark the first full test of the entire SLS core stage, including the stage’s extensive propulsion, avionics and flight software systems.
With a design featuring some of the most sophisticated hardware ever built for spaceflight, the core stage is the powerhouse of the SLS rocket.
The five major structures — the forward skirt, liquid oxygen tank, intertank, liquid hydrogen tank and engine section — that make up the stage are manufactured and assembled at Michoud.
The 43-acre facility includes state-of-the-art welding and manufacturing tools to produce the huge, 27.6-feet-in-diameter tanks and barrels.