NASA SLS Core Stage Arrives at Florida

Space Coast, FL – The NASA SLS arrived today at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It made it’s long journey from Stennis Space Center near St. Louis Bay, MS on the modified NASA barge, Pegasus.

Pegasus barge is loaded with the NASA Space Launch System core stage at NASA Stennis | Photo: NASA

NASA SLS and Pegasus

Pegasus came into Port Canaveral being towed by Tug Mr. Jonah. NASA, uses different tug boats per voyage as per security precautions. Pegasus has been around for quite some time as NASA has used this particular barge since the Space Shuttle Program. It was modified to support the SLS core stage for transport.

Pegasus barge arrives at NASA Kennedy Space Center
Pegasus barge arrives at NASA Kennedy Space Center | Photo: NASA

NASA SLS Core stage will be off loaded sometime in the next 24-48 hours. It will then be brought to the Vehicle Assembly Building. There, it will go through checks and then hoisted and lowered on the ML-1 (Mobile Launcher 1). The ready and waiting Northrop Grumman Solid Rocket Boosters, will be mated to the core stage soon after.

Pegasus at Kennedy Space Center dock with SLS core stage inside
Pegasus at Kennedy Space Center dock with SLS core stage inside | Photo: NASA

It definitely has been a long wait for a lot of us since the announcement roughly 10 years ago. However, all pieces involving the make up of the Space Launch System is here in Florida. A targeted launch date of Artemis I, last known, was November 2021, though the final green run test hot fire delay may have pushed it back. We can only speculate that a new targeted launch date may not be until February/March 2022.

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