NASA Taps Boeing to Produce Deep-Space Exploration Rocket Stages; Jim Chilton Quoted

Jeff Brody
Jim Chilton

NASA has chosen Boeing (NYSE: BA) to manufacture up to 10 core stages and eight upper stages to power the  Space Launch System on the agency's third to 12th deep-space exploration missions under the Artemis program.

Boeing said Monday it built and tested SLS' first core stage through an initial contract with NASA and the company began production of a second core stage at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

The Chicago-based contractor also plans to build the Block 1B version of the exploration upper stage at MAF.

United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), produced the first upper stage known as the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System.

“This team is already implementing lessons learned and innovative practices from the first build to produce a second core stage more efficiently than the first," said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of the space and launch division at Boeing and a 2017 Wash100 awardee.

Chilton added the company will coordinate with its supplier network to deliver the component this year for use in Artemis 1 mission.

NASA said in June 80 percent of the launch system’s core stage completed the assembly and integration phases. Boeing finished construction of the rocket’s engine section in August.

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