NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, middle, and Dr. Quincy K. Brown, front right, senior policy advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, are shown the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket by Jennifer Boland-Masterson, left, director of manufacturing and site leader at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility for Boeing, during a March 31 visit to Michoud in New Orleans. They are accompanied by Michoud Facility Director Lonnie Dutreix, back right. The 212-foot-tall core stage and its four RS-25 engines will help power NASA’s Artemis II flight test, the first crewed Artemis mission that will send four astronauts around the Moon and return them home to test the spacecraft in deep space ahead of lunar surface missions. Teams at Michoud recently integrated the last of the five major core stage structures and unboxed the four RS-25 engines. NASA and Boeing, the core stage lead contractor, along with Aerojet Rocketdyne, the RS-25 engine lead contractor, are preparing to install the engines to the base of the rocket’s core stage. The core stage and its RS-25 engines produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust at launch.
NASA is working to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon under Artemis. SLS is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with Orion and the Gateway in orbit around the Moon. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.
Image credit: NASA/Michael DeMocker