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NASA Transfers SLS Rocket’s Core Stage to Kennedy Space Center for Integration, Final Launch Preparation

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The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket's first core stage is expected to arrive at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida where its integration with the rest of the vehicle and the Orion spacecraft will be conducted before the launch of the Artemis I lunar mission.

The core stage recently completed the Green Run series of design and system tests at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, NASA said Saturday.

Four Aerojet Rocketdyne-built RS-25 engines are fitted to the SLS core stage to help propel the rocket. The core stage, which measures 212 feet tall and 27.6 feet in diameter, was developed by prime contractor Boeing.

At Stennis, a team made up of representatives from NASA, Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Syncom Space Services, which led facility maintenance and operations at the center and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, conducted a series of eight Green Run tests.

The core stage will help power the SLS rocket at launch as part of the Artemis program, through which NASA will send humans to the lunar surface. The initiative will also help the space agency prepare for eventual journeys to Mars.