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Webb’s Ariane 5 core stage made ready


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      NASA/Eric Bordelon & Michael DeMocker On July 16, 2024, the first core stage of NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket for the agency’s Artemis II mission began a journey from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The core stage was moved onto the agency’s Pegasus barge, where it will be ferried 900 miles to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once at Kennedy, engineers will prepare it in the Vehicle Assembly Building for attachment to other rocket and Orion spacecraft elements.
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      Image credit: NASA/Eric Bordelon & Michael DeMocker
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      Move teams with NASA and Boeing, the SLS (Space Launch System) core stage lead contractor, position the massive rocket stage for NASA’s SLS rocket on special transporters to strategically guide the flight hardware the 1.3-mile distance from the factory floor onto the agency’s Pegasus barge on July 16. The core stage will be ferried to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will be integrated with other parts of the rocket that will power NASA’s Artemis II mission. Pegasus is maintained at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. Credit: NASA NASA rolled out the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket’s core stage for the Artemis II test flight from its manufacturing facility in New Orleans on Tuesday for shipment to the agency’s spaceport in Florida. The rollout is key progress on the path to NASA’s first crewed mission to the Moon under the Artemis campaign.
      Using highly specialized transporters, engineers maneuvered the giant core stage from inside NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to the agency’s Pegasus barge. The barge will ferry the stage more than 900 miles to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where engineers will prepare it in the Vehicle Assembly Building for attachment to other rocket and Orion spacecraft elements.
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      Technicians moved the SLS rocket stage from inside NASA Michoud on the 55th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. The move of the rocket stage for Artemis marks the first time since the Apollo Program that a fully assembled Moon rocket stage for a crewed mission rolled out from NASA Michoud.
      The SLS rocket’s core stage is the largest NASA has ever produced. At 212 feet tall, it consists of five major elements, including two huge propellant tanks that collectively hold more than 733,000 gallons of super-chilled liquid propellant to feed four RS-25 engines. During launch and flight, the stage will operate for just over eight minutes, producing more than 2 million pounds of thrust to propel four astronauts inside NASA’s Orion spacecraft toward the Moon.
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      Building, assembling, and transporting the SLS core stage is a collaborative effort for NASA, Boeing, and lead RS-25 engines contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company. All 10 NASA centers contribute to its development with more than 1,100 companies across the United States contributing to its production. 
      NASA is working to land the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the Moon under Artemis. SLS is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Orion spacecraft, supporting ground systems, advanced spacesuits and rovers, the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, and commercial human landing systems. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single launch.
      For more on NASA’s Artemis campaign, visit: 
      http://www.nasa.gov/artemis
      -end- 
      Madison Tuttle/Rachel Kraft
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1600
      madison.e.tuttle@nasa.gov/rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov
      Corinne Beckinger 
      Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. 
      256-544-0034  
      corinne.m.beckinger@nasa.gov
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      Details
      Last Updated Jul 16, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis Artemis 2 Common Exploration Systems Development Division Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate Marshall Space Flight Center Michoud Assembly Facility View the full article
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