NASA has announced that its Space Launch System rocket is the “most powerful rocket ever built in human history” and has completed its core stage Green Run tests in the hope of landing the “first woman and next man on the Moon”.
“Core stage complete,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said as he addressed workers at the 60-year-old plant that once produced rockets for the Apollo program and external fuel tanks for the Space Shuttle.
“I know there’s a lot of people here I need to thank,” Bridenstine said. “Not the least of which are the men and women who work day in and day out to get us to this point which I know has not been easy, but we are there.”
The New Orleans built Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is a crucial part of the Artemis space program. It will launch the Orion spacecraft with crew and cargo to the moon and beyond.
The rocket is now joined with its four engines, ready for testing.
“Think of it as NASA’s Christmas present to America and it’s because of you,” Bridenstine said.
Ryan Bakay from Slidell is one of about 1,000 local NASA and Boeing employees working on Artemis.
“I love this job,” Bakay said. “I love this company. I’m looking forward to seeing this thing go into space.”