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The main components of the Artemis III SLS rocket are structurally complete

The main components of the Artemis III SLS rocket are structurally complete

All major components that will make up the first stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the Artemis III mission are structurally complete.

We discover thanks to the space agency's latest publication that technicians did just that on January 8 Welding of a 15-meter liquid oxygen tank has been completed inside the vertical assembly building at the Michoud Assembly Facility NASA in New Orleans. The liquid hydrogen tank, on the right of the photo, completed its internal cleaning on 14 November.

While NASA is developing all the systems needed to return astronauts to the Moon as part of the Artemis campaign, the SLS rocket will be responsible for launching the astronauts on their journey. With the liquid oxygen tank fully welded, all of the main structures that will make up the first stage of the SLS rocket for the Artemis III mission are ready for further preparation. Devices It will be part of the rocket used in the first Artemis mission, which plans to land astronauts on the moon Near the south pole of the moon.

The massive rocket's other giant fuel tank – the liquid hydrogen tank – is already a fully welded and ready-made structure.

NASA and Boeing, the prime contractor for the first phase of the SLS system, are currently preparing the tank in another cell within the vertical assembly building area called Building 131 Cryogenic Tank Thermal Protection System and Primer Application Complex. The internal cleaning process was completed on November 14.

The two huge tanks of rocket fuel Together they contain more than 2.8 million liters of supercooled propellant. The propellant powers the four RS-25 engines and must be kept very cold to remain liquid.

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The first stage, along with the RS-25 engines, will produce more than 900 tons of thrust to help launch NASA's Orion spacecraft, astronauts and supplies beyond Earth orbit and onto the lunar surface for the Artemis 3 rover. SLS is the only rocket capable of sending Orion, astronauts and companions to The moon in one launch.

Through Artemis, NASA will send astronauts — including the first woman, the first person of color and the first international partner astronaut — to explore the Moon for scientific discoveries, economic benefits and to build the foundation for future manned missions to Mars. The SLS system is part of NASA's backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Orion spacecraft, ground-based exploration systems, advanced spacesuits and rovers, Gateway, and manned lunar landing systems. Next, SpaceX will also participate with the HLS vehicle, a modified version of Starship that will serve as a lander for future lunar landing missions.

Speaking of Mars and future missions, did you know that the first Martian life simulation with the first four volunteers is about to be completed? The project is called CHAPEA and selection for a second simulation mission will begin soon.