In the early morning hours of September 27, our Space Launch System (@NASA_SLS) core stage pathfinder is seen arriving by barge at our Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA. The SLS rocket is an advanced launch vehicle being built as humanity’s most powerful rocket ever. Within the rocket is the core stage, which will enable SLS to go beyond Earth’s orbit into deep space. The core stage pathfinder pictured here is similar in size, shape and weight to the 212-foot-tall core stage and will be used to test new shipping and handling equipment as well as procedures from the manufacturing site to the test site to the launch site. A pathfinder is built for testing to reduce the risk of damage to actual one-of-a-kind spaceflight hardware for SLS.
Credit: NASA/MSFC/MAF/Steven Seipel
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