A full-scale testing of the first stage of the mega-launcher will be the last big step before the first flight to the moon.
The U.S. space launch system (SLS), which is expected to launch the first Artemis mission to the Moon (automatic), was delivered by barge on January 13 to Stennis space center — NASA's largest rocket engine test facility, located in Hancock County, Mississippi, U.S.
Settled on the B-2 test stand, the giant launcher will undergo a crucial eight-minute static test, called “green run”, during which the four RS-25 engines on its central stage will be ignited.
This will be the last major step before sending SLS to the Kennedy space center, Florida, where the final assembly will be carried out with its rocket engines, its upper stage and the Orion capsule, which service module (ESM) is provided by the European Space Agency.
Although still posted for November, the launch date of the Artemis 1 mission has shifted once again and the program managers are now targeting the first quarter of 2021.