Boeing has taken the Space Launch System rocket's first core stage out of NASA's New Orleans-based Michoud Assembly Facility for delivery.
The core stage has undergone a series of final tests and is now in NASA's Pegasus barge transportation vessel for a trip to Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the company said Wednesday.
The space agency will conduct hot-fire engine tests with the core stage this year at Stennis and move the technology to Florida-based Kennedy Space Center after pre-launch inspections.
“We are applying what we've learned from development of the first core stage to accelerate work on core stages 2 and 3, already in production at Michoud, as well as the Exploration Upper Stage that will power NASA's most ambitious Artemis missions,“ said John Shannon, SLS vice president and program manager at Boeing.
SLS will support NASA's effort to bring humans to the Moon and Mars for exploration under the Artemis program.