Boeing’s Core Stage for Second Artemis Mission Nears Completion

Photo courtesy of NASA

NEW ORLEANS — On March 17, the Boeing team at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility finished attaching the engine section to the remaining four-fifths of Core Stage 2 for the Space Launch System rocket that will fly the Artemis II mission. Scheduled for late 2024, the mission on the crewed Orion spacecraft is planning a lunar flyby test and return to Earth.

A Michoud spokesperson said the next major milestones include installing 4 RS-25 engines, followed by final integration testing before readying the vehicle for delivery to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to be joined with other rocket components needed to complete the launch vehicle. This Artemis II hardware will help lift a crewed mission to deep space for the first time in 50 years.  

NASA’s SLS rocket – the nation’s next-generation, human-rated rocket – is designed to enable NASA’s Artemis program and carry people and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond. Boeing was selected by NASA to design, develop, test and produce the core stages, upper stages and avionics suite for the SLS fleet of rockets. The first SLS rocket – featuring the Boeing-built Core Stage – successfully launched on Nov. 16, 2022, as part of the Artemis I Mission. Production is currently underway for the Boeing-built core stages, upper stages and avionics for future Artemis missions.


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