NASA’s first Artemis mission to the Moon launched, powered by a Boeing-built core stage

  • The Artemis I mission paves the way for humans to return to space exploration

  • First rocket launching a crew to the moon currently in production

NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, powered by the Boeing-built core stage, lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 01:47 (UTC-5). Eight and a half minutes into flight, the core stage completed its mission and separated from the rocket’s upper stage, sending NASA’s Orion spacecraft on its first trip around the moon.

NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches Wednesday, November 16, 2022 from Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Artemis I unmanned flight test was launched at 1:47 p.m. ET and will serve as an end-to-end test of the launch system and spacecraft capabilities. (Image credit: John Grant)

Today, for the first time in 50 years, this country has super-heavy elevator launch capacitysaid Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing’s Space and Launch Division. “This test flight was a demonstration of technological innovation, and we stand ready to support NASA and its international partners in bringing people back to space exploration.

During the mission, the core stage demonstrated several key functions, including refueling both tanks, operating the hydraulic system, firing the engines, executing in-flight thrust vectoring programs, emptying the fuel tanks, shutting down the engines, and successfully separating and discarding Maneuver.

It was an absolutely beautiful launch – visually and technicallysaid John Shannon, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s SLS program. “This rocket controls incredible powers as it hurtles through the atmosphere. It accomplished the mission as we planned, and we thank our team and partners for all their hard work to make this first launch a success.

The rocket’s core stage stands at 212 feet (almost 65 meters) and consists of a 196,000-gallon liquid oxygen tank, a 537,000-gallon liquid hydrogen tank, as well as an intermediate tank section that connects the two fuel reservoirs and a forward skirt that connects to the upper stage , and an engine section containing four RS-25 engines, providing a combined 2.2 million pounds of thrust. A Boeing team is manufacturing the core stage at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, using components from more than 430 suppliers across the United States.

The Boeing team is preparing the next legs for their respective flights. Core Stage-2 or CS-2 will launch the first crew of the Artemis program and is located in the final assembly area in Michoud. CS-3 will manifest to launch the first manned moon landing since Apollo, which will include the first woman and the first person of color. This phase and CS-4 are already in the works at Michoud. Additionally, the structural test article of a newer, more powerful upper stage known as the Exploration Upper Stage is in the making.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., Nov. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/

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