The first of 10 pieces of the twin Space Launch System (SLS) rocket boosters for NASA’s Artemis I mission was placed on the mobile launcher Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Engineers used one of five overhead cranes to lift the segment from the VAB’s High Bay 4 to the newly renovated High Bay 3. The component is the bottom section of the booster, known as the aft assembly, which house the system that controls 70% of the steering during the rocket’s initial ascent. Over several weeks, the other segments will be stacked one at a time and topped with the forward assembly.
Launching in 2021, Artemis I will be an uncrewed test of the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024 and establish sustainable lunar exploration by the end of the decade.
Image Credit: NASA/Cory HustonLast Updated: Nov. 24, 2020Editor: Yvette Smith