First Space Launch System rocket core stage arrives in Florida
The core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the uncrewed Artemis 1 Moon mission, scheduled for later this year.
Traveling five days aboard the Pegasus barge from NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi where it was undergoing Green Run testing, the 212-foot (65-meter) SLS core arrived at Kennedy Space Center April 27, 2021.
Then on April 29, under cloudy skies that gave way to a beautiful sunrise and morning, the core stage began its final journey to the Vehicle Assembly Building for final preparations and stacking.
When ready, the core stage will be integrated with the twin five-segment solid rocket boosters, which were recently stacked on the Mobile Launcher in the VAB. This’ll be the first integrated mission of the Orion spacecraft and the SLS.
Ahead of launching from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39B, NASA and Jacob Engineering teams will stack all the elements atop the Mobile Launcher specifically outfitted, along with the VAB, to accommodate the mammoth rocket.
After completing the assembly process, an upgraded crawler-transporter will move the Space Launch System and Orion capsule from the VAB to the launch pad.
The Artemis program is designed for human space exploration to the Moon in preparation for missions to Mars. Its initial goal is to land the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface.
Currently, SLS is the only rocket on Earth that can send supplies, astronauts and the Orion capsule to the Moon in a single mission. NASA has combined the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System, the orbiting Lunar Gateway in space and a commercial human landing system (SpaceX’s Lunar Starship) for comprehensive deep space exploration and the next generation of missions to the Moon.
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.