Boeing Co. announced it has delivered the core stage of NASA’s first Space Launch System deep space exploration rocket.
Moving the core stage out of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to the agency’s Pegasus barge marks the first time a completed rocket stage has shipped out of Michoud since the end of the Apollo program.
“The Boeing SLS team has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with NASA and our supplier partners to face multiple challenges with ingenuity and perseverance, while keeping safety and quality at the forefront,” said John Shannon, Boeing SLS vice president and program manager.
The rollout came after several weeks of testing and check-outs following NASA’s declaration of “core stage complete” during a Dec. 9 Artemis Day celebration at Michoud.
“We are applying what we’ve learned from development of the first core stage to accelerate work on core stages 2 and 3, already in production at Michoud, as well as the Exploration Upper Stage that will power NASA’s most ambitious Artemis missions,” Shannon said.
Boeing describes SLS as the world’s most powerful rocket, built to carry astronauts and cargo farther and faster than any rocket in history.