Jacobs and NASA received the final piece of Artemis I flight hardware at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on 28th April and has begun processing the Space Launch System (SLS), a critical step in preparation for launch. The SLS rocket will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a test flight around the moon and back to earth later this year, paving the way for future Artemis missions with astronauts.
As the Artemis prime contractor at KSC for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems, Jacobs is responsible for receiving all SLS and Orion flight hardware, assembling and integrating all components, followed by conducting final tests and checkout before rolling it to the pad for launch. The Jacobs team is currently preparing Orion for launch and has finished processing and stacking the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) segments.
Steve Arnette, Critical Mission Solutions Senior Vice President, Jacobs, said: “With the delivery of the core stage, the Artemis I launch is within sight, and the excitement level is high. From the technicians doing the hands-on work to the engineers ensuring the operations are conducted safely and successfully, to the team in the Launch Control Center firing rooms who are monitoring and coordinating all launch prep activities, the entire Jacobs team is committed to the success of this important milestone in NASA’s goal to return humans to the lunar surface – and beyond.”
The 212-foot long core stage will be mated to the twin solid rocket boosters (SRBs) on the mobile launcher. Together, the SRBs and the core stage will form the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built, providing 8.8 million pounds of maximum thrust, 15% more thrust than the Saturn V rocket. Following the core stage/SRB mate, the team will complete stacking of the remaining Artemis I flight hardware, including the Orion spacecraft, on the mobile launcher inside the VAB, then test and check out all systems ahead of rollout to Launch Pad 39B.