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NASA Invites Media to Hot Fire Test for Mega Rocket to Support Moon Missions

Core Stage for NASA Moon Rocket Ready for SLS Green Run Testing
The massive core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, for the core stage Green Run test series. NASA and Boeing, the core stage lead contractor, installed the stage into the test stand in January 2020. The core stage Green Run test series is an important step toward safely launching SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft beyond Earth’s orbit forward to the Moon for the agency’s Artemis program. The 212-foot-tall rocket stage — the largest stage the agency has ever produced — contains the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks that will feed four RS-25 rocket engines, along with the vehicle’s avionics and flight computers. The comprehensive test campaign will validate the core stage design and ensure it’s ready for the first and future Artemis missions to the Moon. Credits: NASA

Media accreditation is now open for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket Green Run hot fire test – the test of the rocket’s core stage and all of its integrated systems before its flight on the Artemis I lunar mission, scheduled for 2021. NASA is targeting early November for the test in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The hot fire is the final in a series of eight tests that ensure the stage’s systems are functioning and ready for operation. The test replicates the launch by loading the propellants and allowing them to flow throughout the system as the four RS-25 engines fire simultaneously to demonstrate that the engines, tanks, fuel lines, valves, pressurization system, and software can all perform together just as they will on launch day.

Following the test, NASA will ship the core stage to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will be assembled with the other parts of the Artemis I rocket and the Orion spacecraft.

Media accreditation deadlines for SLS Core Stage Green Run test are as follows:

  • International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 2.
  • U.S. media must apply by 4p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 16.

All accreditation requests should be submitted online at:

NASA continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will credential a limited number of media for access to Stennis Space Center in order to protect the health and safety of media and employees. International media based in the U.S. may apply. Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions at Stennis, all attendees will need to follow quarantine requirements.

NASA will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the agency’s chief health and medical officer, and will immediately communicate any updates that may impact media access for the test.

For questions about media accreditation, email

For other questions, contact the Stennis Office of Communications at 228-688-3333.

Reporters with special accommodations requests should contact Valerie Buckingham at by Friday, Oct. 16.

The core stage was built at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans with contributions from suppliers across the country. Boeing is the lead contractor for the core stage, with the RS-25 engines built by Aerojet Rocketdyne, and the test is being conducted by engineers from Stennis, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and SLS contractors.

For more information about the test, visit:


Kathryn Hambleton
Headquarters, Washington
Valerie Buckingham
Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Miss.

Tracy McMahan
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.