NASA Shows Off Space Launch System For Upcoming Artemis Mission

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NASA has completed the development of the first-ever Space Launch System rocket. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine showed off the megarocket's core stage, which is expected to take flight for the first Artemis mission. The event was held in NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans.

This Is How NASA Space Launch System Looks Like

 

NASA Space Launch System

The completed NASA Space Launch System is the first step towards the agency's goal of landing humans on the Moon in 2024. As part of the mission, the new system will carry uncrewed Orion capsules around the moon in 2021, the administrator said. It is "NASA's Christmas present to America," he announced.

The NASA administrator also referred to the new facility - Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, from where the core stage will depart for testing. The core stage is believed to be 65 meters and includes four engines and two liquid- propellant tanks. Apart from this, the administrator didn't give away other details about the Space Launch System.

NASA Artemis Mission

There are many concerns over NASA's growing list of ambitious missions. For now, NASA has contracts with Boeing for only the first two SLS rockets. Besides, the agency has a third rocket under the contract, which will send astronauts to the Moon in 2024 as part of NASA's lunar mission.

It should be noted that the NASA administrator avoided giving away the schedule of the Artemis flight program. The program budget for the SLS rockets was also not mentioned during the event. "Bridenstine has been demurring on offering a launch date for the uncrewed first Artemis mission, deferring that question to the new director of human exploration," said the administrator.

 

At the same time, NASA deflected questions about the anticipated price per rocket of the SLS program. Bridenstine voiced that the cost of the mission will depend largely on how many rockets NASA commissions for the Artemis mission. He said that an increased number of rockets will lead to lower individual price.

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