NASA has started preparing for the possibility of launching six more Artemis missions on top of the three it has already confirmed. The space agency has revealed that it has agreed to “provide initial funding and authorization to Northrop Grumman to order long-lead items” for the construction of twin boosters for the next six Space Launch System (SLS) flights. The SLS is slated to become become NASA’s most powerful rocket yet, designed to enable human exploration beyond the Lower Earth Orbit.
The details of the contract aren’t finalized yet, but it has a potential value of $49.5 million and will extend through December 31st, 2030. It’s “expected to support booster production and operations for SLS flights 4-9.” Bruce Tiller, manager of the SLS Boosters office at Marshall, said in a statement: