Materials scientists finished applying the thermal protection system to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle stage adapter and moved it to another manufacturing area to finish outfitting the flight hardware for the Artemis II mission.
On Dec. 8, 2021, a NASA transporter moved the adapter which was built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center by lead contractor Teledyne Brown Engineering in Huntsville, Alabama. Teams recently completed applying the spray-on foam insulation that will protect the rocket hardware during flight. Now, crews will outfit the inside of the adapter with platforms that will allow teams to access the inside during assembly with the rest of the rocket. Technicians will also install special systems that allow the adapter and the core stage to separate from the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, or ICPS. The adapter connects the rocket’s core stage to the ICPS, which provides the power to perform the trans-lunar injection maneuver to send the Orion spacecraft to the Moon. This adapter is for the Artemis II mission that will be the first to return American astronauts to lunar orbit.