NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility has commenced the production of the rocket core stages for both the second and third Artemis missions. These stages bring propellant tanks, RS-25 engines and avionics wiring to the Space Launch System (SLS)that serves as the launch vehicle for both of the upcoming missions, NASA said Thursday.
The facility has already built Artemis II's main core stage structures and is now working to assemble the engine section. Michoud personnel are now installing and testing the core stage's subsystems. As for Artemis III, core stage structures are now in the welding process.
The space agency launched the Artemis program to revive manned space exploration. Artemis II, the program's first crewed mission, will have astronauts demonstrate a lunar flyby in preparation for Artemis III's planned lunar landing.
Artemis II and Artemis III are planned for launch in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Astronauts will fly aboard the Orion spacecraft for both missions.