News Dec 4, 2020

Jacobs and NASA Begin Stacking of Space Launch System - Critical Step in Preparations for Artemis I Mission

First Solid Rocket Booster segment moves to Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC


On November 21, Jacobs and NASA kicked off the stacking and integration of the Artemis I launch vehicle at Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the transport of the first Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) segment to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) where it will be lifted into High Bay 3 and onto the mobile launcher. The twin SRBs are part of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which will be used to send humans to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will test the Orion spacecraft and SLS as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the moon.

“As the Artemis prime contractor at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for Exploration Ground Systems, Jacobs is responsible for receiving all Space Launch System and Orion flight hardware, assembly, integrating the various hardware components then conducting the final test, and checkout before rolling it to the pad for launch,” said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions Senior Vice President Steve Arnette. “The recent Artemis I milestones marks the beginning of that important step in the path to launch.”

The SRB segments, which arrived from the Northrup Grumman facility in Utah in June, are filled with solid propellant, and will provide 3,600,000 pounds of thrust for the SLS. Each SRB contains five solid fuel segments (one more than the Shuttle Program). Jacobs conducted final processing of the segments over the summer and is now transporting the components to the VAB. The massive SLS core stage is currently undergoing “green run” testing at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, afterward it will be shipped to KSC for integration. Once stacking of the SRBs is complete, the core stage will be lowered onto the mobile launcher, between the two boosters, followed by the Orion spacecraft for transport to Launch Pad 39B for launch in 2021.

As NASA’s largest services contractor, Jacobs is a provider and integrator of full lifecycle aerospace capability including design and construction; base, mission and launch operations; sustaining capital maintenance; and secure and intelligent asset management, development, modification, and testing processes for fixed assets supporting national government, military, defense and NASA, as well as commercial space companies.