Sunday, January 08, 2023

Hydrogen Fuel Tank for NASA's Artemis III Crewed Moon Mission Rocket

Hydrogen Tank for NASA's Artemis III Rocket Moves to Next Production Phase

Notice the Earth's Moon—this Artemis III rocket's destinationat top left of this image!

Technicians at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans move the liquid hydrogen tank of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to Cell A for white light scans of the tank’s dimensions in preparation of multiple join activities throughout the manufacturing process on Dec. 18, 2022. The flight hardware will be used for Artemis III, one of the first crewed Artemis missions. The liquid hydrogen tank holds 537,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen cooled to minus 432 degrees Fahrenheit and is the largest of the five elements that make up the rocket’s 212-foot-tall core stage. The liquid hydrogen tank is situated between the core stage’s intertank and engine section. The liquid hydrogen hardware, along with the liquid oxygen tank, will provide propellant to the four RS-25 engines at the bottom of the core stage to produce more than two million pounds of thrust to launch NASA’s Artemis missions to the Moon. 

Together with its four RS-25 engines, the rocket’s massive 212-foot-tall core stage—the largest stage NASA has ever built—and its twin solid rocket boosters produce 8.8 million pounds of thrust to send NASA’s Orion spacecraft, astronauts and supplies beyond Earth’s orbit to the Moon and, ultimately, Mars. 

Offering more payload mass, volume capability and energy to speed missions through space, the SLS rocket, along with NASA’s Gateway in lunar orbit, the Human Landing System, and Orion spacecraft, is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration and the Artemis lunar program. No other rocket is capable of carrying astronauts in Orion around the Moon in a single mission.

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Credit: NASA/Eric Bordelon

Image Date: Dec. 18, 2022

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