NASA to unveil ‘most powerful rocket in the world’ in New Orleans

Louisiana

The SLS rocket built in New Orleans will launch NASA’s Orion spacecraft “farther than any spacecraft built for humans ever has flown.”

NEW ORLEANS (WWL-TV) — NASA engineers plan to unveil the “most powerful rocket in the world” Monday at its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

In what the federal agency is calling “Artemis Day,” social media users are invited to see the Space Launch System rocket core stage with all four RS25 engines that will fly on the Artemis I mission.

NASA says Artemis I is the first of a series of increasingly complex missions that will lay the foundation for human deep space exploration. The SLS rocket built in New Orleans will launch NASA’s Orion spacecraft “farther than any spacecraft built for humans ever has flown.”

Engineers say the SLS rocket is designed for missions beyond low-Earth orbit and will carry crew and cargo to the Moon and beyond. It produces 8.8 million pounds of thrust during liftoff and ascent to carry a vehicle weighing nearly six million pounds to orbit.

The completed core stage with four RS-25 engines is the largest rocket stage NASA has built since the Saturn V stages for the Apollo Program.

Workers in New Orleans are close to finishing their part of the rocket, which will then be shipped to NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. The rocket will be tested there before being shipped to Kennedy Space Center for the uncrewed Artemis I launch.

NASA plans to launch Artemis I in 2020.

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