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Nasa’s top official gets look at next moon rocket

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke during a visit to a facility in New Orleans where the core stage is being built.

The core stage of the Space Launch System, which will power the Artemis 1 lunar mission (AP/Gerald Herbert)
The core stage of the Space Launch System, which will power the Artemis 1 lunar mission (AP/Gerald Herbert)

By Stacey Plaisance, Associated Press

Nasa’s top official says the rocket expected to power the next mission to the moon is about 90% complete.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke during a visit to a facility in New Orleans where the core stage is being built.

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Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine talks to reporters (AP/Gerald Herbert)

The 212-foot-tall core stage is made up of two liquid propellant tanks and four RS-25 engines.

In the months to come, the engine section will be attached to the rest of the core section. If all goes well, it will power the Artemis 1 test flight in 2020.

Plans call for the rocket to carry a crewless Orion capsule in a double loop around the moon during 25-and-a-half days in flight.

Future missions are expected to carry US astronauts, including the first female astronaut to land on the moon.

PA

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