First Look At NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket Boosters With Platforms Retracted

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This impressive image offers a first time glimpse of the 177-foot-tall twin solid rocket boosters for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket boosters with most of the platforms retracted.

The fully stacked boosters are seen on top of the mobile launcher inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 4 June.

Now that booster stacking is complete, teams with NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and contractor Jacobs are preparing to integrate the massive core stage, which arrived at Kennedy in April 2020, with the boosters inside the VAB.

The 188,000-pound core stage alone will provide more than two million pounds of thrust at launch, and coupled with the boosters, will provide more than 8.8 million pounds of thrust to launch the Artemis I mission.

The first in an increasingly complex series of missions, Artemis I will test SLS and the Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon.