NASA.gov's First Artemis Rocket Stage Moved onto NASA Barge Ahead of Green Run contains a high resolution image of the rocket. The bottom end of the rocket's cylindrical shape is closed flat and covered with what looks like smooth metallized reflective tape.


  1. Is this just for transportation, or for testing, or is this how the rocket will be configured for launch?
  2. What is the intended function of the applied reflective tape?

NASA maf_20200108_artemis_roll_out_dn-5673_0.jpg

Cropped from here and reminiscent of Quora: What is muffler tape for?

Quora What is muffler tape for?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The answer is always "thermal control". $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jan 18 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove I see your edit; I've added quotes to make it clear that it doesn't necessarily have to be that, but that's sure what it looks like and I would not be surprised if that's what it turns out to be. Let's see what shows up in answers, and how close I am. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 18 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting that they are using a flexible thermal blanket around the engines instead of the rigid dome heat shield on the shuttle. Maybe because it's expendable. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jan 18 at 16:38

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