NASA Space Launch System Rocket Core
Photo credit: NASA/Dennis Olive
It’s official, NASA has successfully completed the structural test campaign for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. They built a test version of the rocket’s liquid oxygen tank and then purposely pushed it to its limits on June 22nd. Marshall test lab engineers worked closely with the SLS team to test four of the structures that make up nearly all of the rocket’s 212-foot core stage as well as the structures that compose the entire upper part of the rocket. Read more for two videos and additional information.

This final test concludes a nearly three-year structural test series that officially qualifies the structural design of these multiple hardware elements for the rocket that will eventually launch NASA’s Artemis missions and astronauts to the Moon.

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This year is a landmark year for core stage testing for the Artemis missions. We have successfully completed our core stage major structural tests at Marshall Space Flight Center and are making progress on Green Run testing of the Artemis I core stage at Stennis Space Center that will simulate launch. All these tests are not only valuable for the first Artemis mission but also validates the new integrated design of the SLS core stage structure, propulsion and avionics systems and ensures its readiness for future flights,” said Julie Bassler, the SLS stages manager.