NASA Prepares to Move World’s Most Powerful Rocket from Stennis

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Crews at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis worked April 19-20 to remove the first flight core stage of the agency’s Space Launch System rocket from the B-2 test stand in preparation for its transport to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The stage now will be loaded on NASA’s Pegasus barge for transport to Kennedy, where it will be prepared for launch of the Artemis I mission. Removal of the largest rocket stage ever built by NASA followed completion of a series of eight “green run” tests over the past year. During the green run series, teams performed a comprehensive test of the stand’s sophisticated and integrated systems. NASA said the series culminated in a hot fire of the stage’s four RS-25 engines on the B-2 stand March 18. During the hot fire, the four engines generated a combined 1.6 million pounds of thrust, just as during an actual launch. The test was the most powerful performed at Stennis in more than 40 years. NASA is building SLS, the world’s most powerful rocket, to return humans to deep space missions.

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