The component rocket boosters for the Artemis flight are arriving at Kennedy Space Center agency in Florida to finalize the launch preparations. Various capsules from Promontory in Utah are already at the station for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. These segments usually come in via train from their manufacturing facilities.
NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine says that the arrival of these rocket motors and segments is a step towards sending the Orion spacecraft to the Moon. He reports the Artemis I mission as an anchor aiming to launch people on the Moon surface coming 2024. This voyage will also open doors for venturing Mars.
The SLS rocket composes of twin rocket boosters. Each booster has motor capsules with aft skirts linking them. The motors have four engines and a core capsule with over 8 million pounds of propulsion when it launches.
Space Center Director Bob Cabana says that it is one of the highlights of the year as they receive the Artemis mission compartments at the Kennedy Space Center.
Northrop Grumman, who is a booster segment manufacturer, had to design propellers and principal compartment instruments. The rail cars carrying these segments have a unique design to travel the 2800 mile journey to the station.
SLS Boosters Office manager Bruce Tiller says that the full assemblage of the booster is the most extensive and precise to be built. The enormity of the motor boosters creates thrust pressure for launching into space. NASA’s assembly experts are ready to offload the segments from the rail cars. They are preparing to assemble them for the upcoming Artemis program.
The program manager of Exploration Ground Systems Mike Bogler says that his team is anxious to start operating on the booster segments. They intend to pull together their efforts to deploy the rocket and Orion spacecraft for the lunar mission. This mission is the first to witness mobile launchers handling rocket boosters and the subsequent booster segments.
After practicing the stacking procedures with apt skirts and replica segments, the NASA teams have the essential skills for assembling the rocket boosters. NASA and Northrop Grumman are ready with the first Artemis lunar mission components. They are now preparing segments for the lunar Artemis III mission. Also, the remaining element for Artemis I flight test is the launch adapter. This component adjoins the Orion spacecraft to the rocket and the SLS core.
To conclude, the Artemis program intends to astronauts to the Moon through the Orion spacecraft. After that, they hope to attain the experience to launch astronauts to Mars.