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First BOLE Solid Rocket Motor Segment Completed

A Booster Obsolescence and Life Extension motor segment is transported to final assembly ahead of its first demonstration test scheduled for late 2024 [© Northrop Grumman]

Northrop Grumman completes first BOLE (Booster Obsolescence and Life Extension) solid rocket motor segment for NASA’s Space Launch System.

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News Release, Promontory UT, 26 February 2024: Northrop Grumman Corporation completed the first Booster Obsolescence and Life Extension (BOLE) motor segment for the next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket booster. BOLE adds nearly five metric tons of payload capacity for SLS Block 2 Moon and Mars missions above the enhancements already in work for the SLS Block 1B configuration slated to fly on Artemis IV. The new solid rocket boosters will be used on Block 2 beginning with Artemis IX when all the recovered and refurbished shuttle-era steel cases have been expended.

Building on the foundation of the largest and most powerful solid rocket boosters ever flown, Northrop Grumman’s BOLE booster incorporates cutting-edge carbon fibre technology and a weight-saving composite case. Combined with other upgrades, it generates 11% more total impulse than the current five-segment solid rocket boosters. The first BOLE demonstration test is scheduled for this year, featuring a full-scale static test with all five segments integrated and horizontally fired in a test bay.

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