Rolling on a River: NASA’s Barge Pegasus Returns to Michoud

Pegasus barge departing NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Pegasus departed NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, on Nov. 1, 2016, and traveled on the Pearl River, arriving that night at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The barge returned to Michoud to ship parts of the Space Launch System—NASA’s powerful new rocket for deep space exploration. The core stage, the structural backbone of the rocket that includes the large propellant tanks that fuel the rocket, is being built at Michoud. Pegasus will carry core stage structural test articles from Michoud to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for testing. Pegasus will transport the assembled core stage with its four RS-25 engines from Michoud to Stennis for green run testing–hot-fire testing to ensure the stage is ready for launch. Later, the barge will take the stage to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for integration with other components for the first SLS flight. SLS will have the payload capacity needed to carry crew and cargo for future exploration missions, including sending the first humans to Mars.

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