Northrop Grumman has shipped a pair of rocket boosters for NASA's Space Launch System rocket to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida from a company-run factory in Promontory, Utah.
The twin rockets are designed to help power the launch vehicle of the first Artemis mission, an uncrewed flight test to demonstrate the potential of SLS, the Orion spacecraft and NASA ground infrastructure for deep space exploration, Northrop said Monday.
The company noted that its solid boosters will account for more than 75 percent of the mission's initial launch thrust.
Charlie Precourt, vice president of propulsion systems at Northrop, said the company applied new technology platforms and updated materials to address NASA's rocket performance requirements.
The agency expects to launch Artemis I next year as part of a larger effort to revive manned space flights. SLS will carry the Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft on that mission.
Orbital ATK, which Northrop acquired two years ago, started a series of ground tests in 2010 as part of the certification process for the five-segment SLS motor.