All Engines Added to NASA’s Artemis II Moon Rocket Core Stage

Engineers and technicians from NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Boeing at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have installed all four RS-25 engines to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket that will help power the first crewed Artemis mission to the Moon. The yellow core stage is seen in a horizontal position in the final assembly area at Michoud. The engines are arranged at the bottom of the rocket stage in a square pattern, like legs on a table.
Engineers and technicians from NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Boeing at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have installed all four RS-25 engines to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket that will help power the first crewed Artemis mission to the Moon. The yellow core stage is seen in a horizontal position in the final assembly area at Michoud. The engines are arranged at the bottom of the rocket stage in a square pattern, like legs on a table. Photo Credit: NASA/Eric Bordelon

Teams at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have structurally joined all four RS-25 engines onto the core stage for NASA’s Artemis II Moon rocket. The flight test is the agency’s first crewed mission under Artemis.

Technicians added the first engine to NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket core stage Sept. 11. Teams installed the second engine onto the stage Sept. 15 with the third and fourth engines Sept. 19 and Sept. 20. Technicians with NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company and the RS-25 engines lead contractor, along with Boeing, the core stage lead contractor, now will focus efforts on the complex task of fully securing the engines to the stage and integrating the propulsion and electrical systems within the structure.

The SLS core stage, at 212 feet, is the backbone of the Moon rocket. Its two huge propellant tanks provide more than 733,000 gallons of super-chilled liquid propellant to the four RS-25 engines, while the stage’s flight computers, avionics, and electrical systems act as the “brains” of the rocket. During Artemis II, the RS-25 engines will together provide more than 2 million pounds of thrust for eight minutes of flight, helping to send the Artemis II crew beyond low-Earth orbit to venture around the Moon.

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, and commercial human landing systems. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.

For more on NASA SLS visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/sls

First RS-25 Engine Installed to NASA’s Artemis II Moon Rocket

Engineers and technicians from Aerojet Rocketdyne and Boeing at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have installed the first of four RS-25 engines to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket that will help power the first crewed Artemis mission to the Moon. The yellow core stage is seen in a horizontal position in the final assembly area at Michoud. One RS-25 engine, engine number E2059, has been installed in the top left corner at the base of the 212-foot-tall core stage.
Engineers and technicians from Aerojet Rocketdyne and Boeing at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have installed the first of four RS-25 engines to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket that will help power the first crewed Artemis mission to the Moon. The yellow core stage is seen in a horizontal position in the final assembly area at Michoud. One RS-25 engine, engine number E2059, has been installed in the top left corner at the base of the 212-foot-tall core stage. Photo credit: NASA

Technicians at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have installed the first of four RS-25 engines on the core stage of the agency’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket that will help power NASA’s first crewed Artemis mission to the Moon. During Artemis II, NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen will launch on SLS and journey around the Moon inside the Orion spacecraft during an approximately 10-day mission in preparation for future lunar missions.

The Sept. 11 engine installation follows the joining of all five major structures that make up the SLS core stage earlier this spring. NASA, lead RS-25 engines contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3 Harris Technologies company, and Boeing, the core stage lead contractor, will continue integrating the remaining three engines into the stage and installing the propulsion and electrical systems within the structure.

All four RS-25 engines are located at the base of the core stage within the engine section, which protects the engines from the extreme temperatures during launch and has an aerodynamic boat tail fairing to channel airflow. During launch and flight, the four engines will fire nonstop for over eight minutes, consuming propellant from the core stage’s two massive propellant tanks at a rate of 1,500 gallons (5,678 liters) per second.

Each SLS engine has a different serial number. The serial number for the engine installed Sept. 11 in position two on the core stage is E2059. It along with the engine in position one, E2047, previously flew on space shuttle flights. E2047 is the most veteran engine of the entire set flying on Artemis II with 15 shuttle flights, including STS-98, which delivered the Destiny Laboratory Module to the International Space Station in 2001. The engines installed in positions three and four (E2062 and E2063) are new engines that include previously flown hardware.

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, and commercial human landing systems. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.

For more on NASA SLS visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/sls

Weather Forecast Remains 90% Favorable for Artemis I Launch

Weather conditions remain 90% favorable for the Artemis I launch based on the Monday, Nov. 14 forecast from meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45. Liftoff is scheduled for 1:04 a.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 16 with a two-hour launch window.

The mission management team will reconvene this afternoon to review additional analysis from overnight operations in preparation for launch. NASA is targeting a teleconference at 6 p.m. to discuss the outcome of the meeting. Listen on the agency’s website at: https://www.nasa.gov/live .

Weather Forecast 90% Favorable for Artemis I Launch

Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 currently predict 90% favorable weather conditions for the Artemis I launch targeted for Nov. 16. Liftoff is scheduled for 1:04 a.m. EST with a two-hour launch window.

The mission management team will meet this afternoon to review the status of preparations for launch. NASA will host a teleconference at 7 p.m. to discuss the outcome following the meeting. Listen on the agency’s website at: https://www.nasa.gov/live .

Artemis I Moon Rocket Arrives at Launch Pad Ahead of Historic Mission

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher as it arrives at Launch Pad 39B, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s Artemis I mission is the first integrated test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and supporting ground systems. Launch of the uncrewed flight test is targeted for Nov. 14 at 12:07 a.m. EST. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Around 8:30 a.m. EDT on Nov. 4, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission arrived at launch pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a nearly nine-hour journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building. Teams will continue working to configure SLS and Orion for the upcoming Nov. 14. launch attempt.

NASA’s Mega Moon Rocket Begins Roll to Launch Pad 

The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I flight test are rolling to launch pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of launch. At about 11:17 p.m. EDT the crawler-transporter began the approximately 4-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the launch pad. 

Once outside the VAB high-bay doors, the Moon rocket will make a planned pause allowing the team to reposition the crew access arm on the mobile launcher before continuing to the launch pad. The journey is expected to take between eight to 12 hours. NASA will provide an update once the rocket has arrived at the pad. A live stream view of the rocket and spacecraft departing VAB and arriving at the launch pad is available on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube Channel. 

Launch is currently targeted for Nov. 14 at the opening of a 69-minute launch window starting at 12:07 a.m. EST.  

Teams On Track for Artemis I Rollout to Launch Pad

Teams are on track to roll the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39B no earlier than Friday, Nov. 4 with first motion targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT.

Minor repairs identified through detailed inspections are mostly completed. Preparations are underway to ready the mobile launcher and VAB for rollout by configuring the mobile launcher arms and umbilicals and continuing to retract the access platforms surrounding SLS and Orion as work is completed.

Testing of the reaction control system on the twin solid rocket booters, as well as the installation of the flight batteries, is complete and those components are ready for flight. Engineers also have replaced the batteries on the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS), which was powered up for a series of tests to ensure the stage is functioning properly. Teams successfully completed final confidence checks for the ICPS, launch vehicle stage adapter and the core stage forward skirt.

Teams are continuing to work in the intertank area of the core stage and upper section of the boosters to replace batteries. These areas will remain open to support remaining battery and flight termination system activities. Flight termination system testing will start next week on the intertank and booster and once complete, those elements will be ready for launch. Charging of the secondary payloads in the Orion stage adapter is complete.

Teams recharged, replaced and reinstalled several of the radiation instruments and the crew seat accelerometer inside Orion ahead of the crew module closure for roll. Technicians will refresh the specimens for the space biology payload at the launch pad. The crew module and launch abort system hatches are closed for the roll to the pad, and engineers will perform final closeouts at the pad prior to launch.

Teams will plan to move the crawler transporter into position outside of the VAB ahead of rolling into the facility early next week. The agency continues to target a launch date no earlier than Nov. 14 at 12:07 a.m. EDT.

 

NASA’s Moon Rocket and Spacecraft Arrive at Vehicle Assembly Building

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher as it returns to the Vehicle Assembly Building from Launch Pad 39B, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA made the decision to rollback based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian. NASA’s Artemis I mission is the first integrated test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and supporting ground systems. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

At approximately 9:15 a.m. EDT, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission were secured inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center after a four-mile journey from Launch Pad 39B that began at 11:21 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26 ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian.

After the storm has passed, teams will conduct inspections to determine impacts at the center and establish a forward plan for the next launch attempt, including replacing the core stage flight termination system batteries and retesting the system to ensure it can terminate the flight if necessary for public safety in the event of an emergency during launch.

Artemis I Moon Rocket Departs Launch Pad 39B Ahead of Hurricane Ian

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B as teams configure systems for rolling back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA made the decision to rollback based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian. NASA’s Artemis I flight test is the first integrated test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and supporting ground systems. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

At 11:21 p.m. ET Monday, NASA’s Artemis I Moon rocket  left launch pad 39B atop the crawler-transporter and began its 4-mile trek to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Managers decided to roll back based on the latest weather predictions associated with Hurricane Ian not showing improving expected conditions for the Kennedy area. The decision allows time for employees to address the needs of their families and protect the integrated rocket and spacecraft system.

Watch a live stream of the rocket arriving at VAB on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel and check back here for updates.

 

Artemis Cryogenic Test: Core Stage LH2 Underway; LOX Fill and Engine Bleed Test Complete

Fast fill continues for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank at a reduced pressure as teams monitor the area where the hydrogen leak was detected. Fast fill is complete for the core stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank and engineers have completed the engine bleed test, which flows supercold LH2 to the four RS-25 engines, bringing their temperature down to the conditions required for launch.

Follow along with live coverage of the cryogenic demonstration test ahead of the Artemis I mission.