Space

Largest rocket since Apollo rolls out

Largest rocket since Apollo ro...
The Boeing-built core stage of NASA’s first Space Launch System (SLS) deep space exploration rocket arrives at the agency’s Pegasus barge
The Boeing-built core stage of NASA’s first Space Launch System (SLS) deep space exploration rocket arrives at the agency’s Pegasus barge
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The Boeing-built core stage of NASA’s first Space Launch System (SLS) deep space exploration rocket arrives at the agency’s Pegasus barge
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The Boeing-built core stage of NASA’s first Space Launch System (SLS) deep space exploration rocket arrives at the agency’s Pegasus barge

The first of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) deep space exploration rockets is on the move as it rolled out of the space agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on January 8, 2020. The Boeing-built SLS Core Stage was put on the Pegasus barge to make its voyage downriver to the Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for hot-fire tests before delivery to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The SLS is the largest rockets to fly since the Moon landings and will even outclass the legendary Saturn V. And, like the Saturn V, its various components are being built at different locations, and the first stage of the SLS is being assembled at the same facility where the first stage of the Saturn V was put together.

According to Boeing, the SLS Core Stage was announced completed on December 9, 2019, and is slated to power NASA's unmanned Artemis 1 mission on its circumlunar flight. This is the first time a completed rocket has shipped from Michoud since Apollo and is now on its way to Stennis for live engine tests, inspection, and refurbishment before its final journey to Kennedy for stacking with the Interim Cryogenic Upper Stage (ICPS) and NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

"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," says John Shannon, Boeing SLS vice president and program manager. "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."

Source: Boeing

6 comments
FB36
IMHO, usage of liquid hydrogen fuel for any rocket is a huge mistake! It is extremely dangerous (as Challenger Disaster clearly demonstrated) & not to mention expensive! IMHO, NASA definitely should/must modify the design of SLS to switch using RP-1 fuel instead! (Just like Space-X is using & Saturn-V used (& both are huge successes)!)
Here what Wikipedia says about RP-1 rocket fuel: "is cheaper, stable at room temperature, far less of an explosion hazard, and far denser. RP-1 is significantly more powerful than LH2 by volume"
Colt12
Isn't this the 5 billion dollar rocket that took over 5 years to build.
Username
How does it compare to the Saturn V or SpaceX's Falcon Heavy?
Spud Murphy
Wow, liquid hydrogen fuelled, and built by Boeing, they like living dangerously don't they.
Aaron Peterson
FB36, Challenger disaster was Solid Rocket booster failure because they launched it when it was too cold causing an O-ring to fail. Hydrogen has a lot of advantages, but consider looking into methane too. SpaceX is using methane which may have higher energy density than hydrogen, but advantages over kerosene. Hydrogen can be good in the right rocket. also note that the Airship that blew up had rocket fuel skin... the hydrogen wasn't as big of a deal as some made it to be.
ljaques
"And, as shown in the picture, we saved weight and went 'green' by using a giant carpet roll tube for the shell."