Photo credit: NASA
NASA’s SLS rocket was built to safely transport American astronauts and maximum payloads to the Moon as well as deep space destinations. Yesterday, the agency rolled out the completed core stage from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility for a trip to the Stennis Space Center to undergo further testing. The 1.3-mile trip from the Michoud factory to the barge’s dock is just the beginning of the SLS flight hardware’s journey, as Pegasus will then ferry the SLS core stage from Michoud to Stennis, where it will be lifted and placed into the historic B-2 Test Stand for the core stage Green Run test campaign set to start later this year.
NASA’s Green Run series is a comprehensive test campaign of the stage — from its avionics and propulsion systems to its four RS-25 engines — that will verify the core stage design ready for launch. Ahead of the NASA Orion spacecraft launch to the Moon, the SLS rocket stage will take the same water route that the first stages of the Saturn V rocket did when it was transported from Michoud to Stennis for testing during the Apollo Program in the 1960s and 1970s. After Green Run, the barge will carry the core stage flight hardware to Kennedy for launch preparations.
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The Boeing SLS team has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with NASA and our supplier partners to face multiple challenges with ingenuity and perseverance while keeping safety and quality at the forefront. We are applying what we’ve learned from development of the first core stage to accelerate work on core stages 2 and 3, already in production at Michoud, as well as the Exploration Upper Stage that will power NASA’s most ambitious Artemis missions,” said John Shannon, Boeing SLS vice president and program manager.