Space Launch System core stage lowered into stand for testing


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – NASA’s tallest rocket stage is on the stand and getting ready for testing.

The 212-foot core stage of the Space Launch System was lifted and lowered into B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi Tuesday and Wednesday. Crews have been working since then to fully secure it for testing, according to NASA.

The test will cover the core stage’s launch systems, including avionics, hydraulics and main propulsion system and engine leak checks.

NASA said they also will load propellants into the rocket and flow system, right up until engine ignition. Testing will culminate with a full firing of all four RS-25 engines.

After testing, crews will refurbish the rocket, inspect it and configure it for shipment to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The core stage will next fire up at Kennedy for the Artemis 1 flight test.

Boeing is the main contractor for the SLS core stage’s design, development, testing and production. Boeing also developed the rocket’s avionics, which are managed at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.