Kyle Gray
4 min readMar 20, 2015
The SLS Booster — After the successful firing

NASA SLS Rocket Test

Last week, I had the great experience of being able to participate in the NASA SLS Booster test.

Miles away from any city, town, or place to buy breakfast, Orbital ATK tested the Space Launch System booster that is meant to eventually bring humans to Mars.

Throughout this two day event, we were able to tour the facility where the rocket is built. The whole first day entailed touring where the rocket is made, in a part of Orbital ATK where we couldn’t even take pictures.

I thought the best thing to do would make a photo essay from some of the things I saw.

The Social Group learning how the boosters are built. Behind us is one section made of multiple alloys.
Another section where they coat the rockets with rubber and sealants

In this room, they do a lot to the finished rocket section. It’s vacuum locked and weather proofed, as well as insulated. This helps the rocket stay in one piece as well as not completely melt when it’s fired.

There’s also the nozzle on the bottom that has the ability to vector in flight.

Throughout the first day, it was all factory tours. But later we got to participate in a Q & A with engineers, NASA officials, and even astronauts to learn a lot about the rocket launch, and how the Mars Program is going to progress.

One of the main subjects emphasized, and one of the reasons they were spreading the word about this is because some of the general public still thinks NASA isn’t doing…