After its journey from NASA’s Stennis Space Center aboard the Pegasus barge, the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket arrived at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center on April 27, 2021. Shown against a Florida sunrise, the core stage is the final piece of Artemis hardware to arrive at the spaceport. Engineers with Exploration Ground Systems and lead contractor Jacobs will offload the core stage and move it to the center’s Vehicle Assembly Building for integration atop the mobile launcher with the completed stack of solid rocket boosters ahead of the Artemis I launch. The SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world, producing up to 8.8 million pounds of thrust during its Artemis I launch.
Artemis I will be an uncrewed test of the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon to establish sustainable lunar presence and prepare for human missions to Mars.
Photo credit: NASA