Working through almost all of the standard fortnight year-end holiday, Boeing’s final assembly team for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage completed work on their first rocket with Core Stage-1 leaving the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) factory early on the morning of January 8. NASA held a ceremonial event in early December to mark completion of work to install and interconnect all of the stage’s functional equipment. Boeing is the prime contractor for the Core Stage and the final assembly team spent the last month finishing integrated functional checkouts and final outfitting to prepare it for the upcoming Green Run test campaign at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Core Stage-1 was not just the first flight article to roll out of the factory, it is also the SLS Program’s first working article. As the final assembly team worked to finish their first core, they employed more improvisation, from finishing integration all horizontally during the year to a last-minute reparking idea to finish the last task in time for the rollout date