Artemis I stage adapter leaves Huntsville for Cape Canaveral, several north Alabama companies playing a part in building the rocket

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The Artemis One launch vehicle stage adapter for NASA’s Space Launch System has left Huntsville and is now on the way to the Kennedy Space Center

The adapter is the cone-shaped piece that connects the rocket’s core stage and interim cryogenic propulsion stage.

Teams at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center moved the Artemis I launch vehicle stage adapter onto the Pegasus barge on July 17. In fact, the governor declared that day as Artemis Day in Alabama.

Once the hardware gets to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, it will be integrated with other parts of the SLS in preparation for launch.

NASA says Artemis I is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration of the moon and eventually Mars.

Several north Alabama companies have built major parts of the rocket, including Teledyne Brown Engineering in Huntsville. They’re the lead contractor for the launch vehicle stage adapter.

The RL-10 engine was built by Aerojet Rocketdyne in Sacramento, California. They also have a location in Huntsville.

The cryogenic stage was built by Boeing and United Launch Alliance in Decatur.

NASA says SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world and will send astronauts in the Orion spacecraft farther into space than ever before.

The agency says no other rocket is capable of sending astronauts to the moon.

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