Images released by the space agency show one of the huge Space Launch System (SLS) rockets loaded for delivery to NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis. Experts had completed manufacturing work on the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which will be used as part of the Artemis moon mission in 2024, on January 8 at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Pictures from NASA reveal the sheer size of the rocket, which is able to hold a staggering 733,000 gallons of propellant and stands at a whopping 321 feet tall.
NASA said the rocket will be launched in 2024, when it will start ferrying humans to the Moon where they will be tasked with establishing a lunar colony.
NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard said: “NASA’s Space Launch System core stage is part of the Artemis program, which is a national asset.
“The SLS rocket was built to deliver American astronauts and maximum payloads to the Moon and deep space destinations.
“Rolling out the completed core stage from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility to go on to NASA’s Stennis Space Center for further testing is an exciting leap forward in the Artemis program as NASA teams make progress toward the launch pad.”
Artemis NASA Moon Mission 2024: NASA gears up huge rocket to take humans to Moon
Artemis will hold a staggering 733,000 gallons of propellant and stands at a whopping 321 feet tall
John Honeycutt, the SLS Program Manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, said the rocket will bring in a new era of galactic exploration.
He said: “Completion of this first-time build of the Space Launch System rocket’s core stages puts humans on the cusp of a new era of space exploration.
“NASA’s SLS rocket is designed to evolve so a variety of missions can be accomplished first to the Moon for the Artemis missions and then to Mars and other deep space destinations.”
Julie Bassler, the NASA SLS Stages manager, added: “This is a historic moment for NASA’s Artemis program and a proud time for the Space Launch System Core Stage team as the first flight article leaves the factory floor.
Apollo 11 moon landing
“Roll out of the core stage to Stennis ahead of the core stage Green Run test series signals an exciting next phase as NASA prepares for the first Artemis launch. The Green Run test series will verify the stage is ready to ship to the launch site.’”
The space agency is also upping the ante in its bid to get humans to Mars. NASA will launch the Mars 2020 rover this year, which will explore the Red Planet as preparation for humanity’s arrival, which could happen in the next decade.
NASA said: “NASA’s latest mission to Mars – a mission that will receive a new name before launch – will be the latest rover to head to the Red Planet, but it’s not going alone.
“To aid it in its exploration, it’s carrying the first helicopter that will fly on another planet.”