Test & Measurement
Engineers Test NASA's Space Launch System Booster Forward Skirt to the Limits
A critical connection between NASA's new rocket and its twin solid rocket boosters that will help it get to space proved it could withstand millions of pounds of launch stress during a series of ground tests that ended May 20. The booster forward skirt, which houses the electronics responsible for igniting, steering, and jettisoning the two five-segment boosters and carries most of the forces acting on the boosters during launch, is one of two places at the top and bottom of the booster where it is attached by struts to the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage. The core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle's RS-25 engines. When completed, SLS will be capable of taking a crew and cargo on deep space missions, including to an asteroid and eventually Mars.