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Moon river: Rocket part ferried on the mighty Mississippi

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Reported today on The Seattle Times

For the full article visit: https://www.seattletimes.com/news/moon-river-rocket-part-ferried-on-the-mighty-mississippi/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=RSS_business

Moon river: Rocket part ferried on the mighty Mississippi

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – With a brass band playing and a parade of workers sporting Mardi Gras beads, a huge component of a new rocket system was wheeled slowly from a New Orleans spacecraft factory on Wednesday to a barge that will float it up the Mississippi River for testing.

The recently completed “core stage” of NASA’s Space Launch System, which dwarfed the hundreds of of NASA and Boeing employees, was to be taken to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of New Orleans. Space Launch System rockets are expected to eventually take astronauts to the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

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The core stage – which measures 212 feet (65 meters) from end to end and more than 27 feet (8 meters) in diameter – was transported like a giant Carnival float from the Michoud Assembly Center in eastern New Orleans to the barge as workers took pictures.

It will undergo tests at Stennis ahead of the first Artemis launch, currently planned for 2021, said Tony Castilleja, a systems engineer with the Boeing Space Team.

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